The late Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom lived through several historical sports milestones, including every World Cups in the history of the tournament.
The world’s longest-serving monarch was born in 1926, just four years before the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930.
For the football world, the Queen was not only a fan of the game but a supporter, as she was the Head of State for several FIFA Member Associations and sponsored the English, Scottish, and Welsh Football Federations.
In 1966, the Queen attended the eighth World Cup held on her home turf at Wembley stadium.
“I welcome all our visitors and feel sure that we will be seeing some fine football,” she said at the competition’s opening.
England’s men later brought the glory to their country, being crowned champions after defeating West Germany 4–2 in the final to win their first and so far only ever title.
Then captain of the England national team, Bobby Moore, was presented the Jules Rimet trophy, the original prize for winning the FIFA World Cup by the late Queen.
A keen football fan, the Queen, attended several matches of the FA Cup, the oldest football competition to date. She herself went ahead with gifting winning teams the trophy.
Peter Rodrigues of Southampton was the last captain to receive the FA Cup from the Queen and recalled the moment as memorable.
“Before I took the trophy, she congratulated me and asked if I’d enjoyed the game. I was too tongue-tied to answer properly, I just said thank you ma’am,” said Rodrigues in an interview with the Daily Mail.
FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino mourned the death of Elizabeth II, calling it a huge loss to football.
“To the world, our football community laments the loss of a global leader who engaged and encouraged everyone she met, and on behalf of football across the world, our thoughts are with the royal family at this most difficult time,” Infantino said.
Several football leagues, including the Premier League, suspended matches over the weekend out of respect for the Queen.
Numerous football players and clubs offered condolences following Her Majesty’s death.
Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo posted a message on his socials after the news broke.
“I pay my respect to her memory and I mourn this irreplaceable lost with the country that I’ve learned to call home. My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family,” he said.
One of her last acts in football was saluting England’s women’s team as they prevailed in their Euro 2022 campaign, winning the title.
“My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Championships,” said the late UK Monarch.
The Queen’s death comes months before Qatar’s World Cup, which debuts in less than three months.
Qatar lit up the venues that will play host to the World Cup group games of England and Wales in recognition of Queen Elizabeth II.