July 21, 2009

By royal appointment

Martin Williamson


The Queen meets the players during the lunch break © Getty Images
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The Queen’s visit to Lord’s on the second day of the Ashes Test caused problems for the MCC when it was discovered the committee-room drinks cabinet did not include any Dubonnet, Her Majesty’s tipple of choice. A steward was dispatched post haste to nearby St John’s Wood High Street where he managed to find a bottle, but the drama did not end there. According to the Mail on Sunday, the steward had a battle to get through the security at Lord’s – the notorious Green Team - who insisted on enforcing regulations on bringing bottles of alcohol into the ground. Eventually, common sense prevailed.

Later on, after lunch, an aide quietly informed the Queen it was time to go to which she reportedly replied: “Oh, but I might miss an Australian wicket”. A committee member quietly pointed out she was Queen of England and Australia. The Queen laughed and said: “Yes, you do have a point”.

The Duke of Edinburgh, no stranger to gaffs, was also present wearing his MCC egg and bacon tie (he was president of the club in 1949 and 1975) but he managed to put his foot in his mouth when he asked Australia’s coach: “Are you the scorer?”

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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