May 9, 2016

The game and the throne

Queen Elizabeth turned 90 last month. We look at the royal family's long association with cricket

© PA Photos

King George V (right) talks to Bill Woodfull, Australia's captain on the team's tour of England in 1934, possibly using some royal diplomacy moves to soothe any remaining ruffled feathers regarding Bodyline.

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WG Grace is photographed in 1911 with the Prince of Wales, who went on to become King Edward VIII - King George V's son and the uncle of the current queen - for only 11 months before abdicating to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. But while he was prince and then king, Edward (somewhat) supported cricket, inaugurating the Prince of Wales Country Club ground in Chile in 1925, and awarding a knighthood to the Maharaja of Vizianagaram in 1936.

According to Wisden, King George VI (father of Elizabeth), who succeeded his older brother Edward VIII to the throne, once bowled his brother, father, King George V, and grandfather King Edward VII with consecutive deliveries in a match at Windsor Castle.

Fiona Hanson / © PA Photos

Queen Elizabeth talks to the Ashes-winning England women's team at Buckingham Palace in 2006. I found the photo interesting because it looks like the Queen is gesturing with her thumb towards Kevin Pietersen behind her. Do you think she's confirming with Charlotte Edwards and Clare Connor if that's the chap who had the skunk hair previously?

Chris Jones / © PA Photos

That's an odd way to bow to a royal. Umpire Dickie Bird shows off his long socks and thermals to Princess Diana during a County Championship match in Bristol, 1989. Check out Courtney Walsh in the corner in batting pads. Walsh made ten runs in each innings and took four wickets in each innings in Gloucestershire's 141-run win.

Anthony Devlin / © PA Photos

Prince William looks like he's facing a Walsh bouncer, at this 2015 World Cup event in Christchurch.

Nishi Narayanan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo