Arsenal bragged as the only team to have been invited to have an afternoon tea with late Queen Elizabeth at her Palace.
When Arsenal relocated from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2006, Queen Elizabeth II was supposed to cut the ribbon to formally open the club’s new home. But Prince Philip took her place after she strained her back.
The Queen reportedly expressed disappointment at missing the occasion, and as a result, the Arsenal team was invited to Buckingham Palace in February 2007 for afternoon tea.
The Queen and the Arsenal players were shown conversing in a BBC programme.
Ken Friar, former Club Director said: “I have been in the business a year or two now and have been very fortunate to do many things, and I would think this is a highlight.”
While manager Arsene Wenger also added: “I think she is interested in people and will make them feel relaxed.”
On Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Queen, who passed on aged 96.
A statement read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
After the news surfaced, tributes were paid by many, including Arsenal, who released a statement. The statement read: “Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is saddened at the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.
“Her Majesty gave remarkable service over eight decades to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and we join together with so many around the world in mourning her passing and wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family.”
Arsenal Football Club
Arsenal Football Club, also known simply as Arsenal, is an English professional football team with their home stadium located in Islington, London.
The Premier League, the premier division of English football, is where Arsenal competes.
The team has won a record 14 FA Cups, two League Cups, 16 FA Community Shields, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in addition to 13 league crowns (including one undefeated title). It is the third-most prosperous club in English football in terms of trophies won.
The club underwent a transformation under the leadership of French manager Arsène Wenger, who was hired in 1996.
His rule has been characterized by attacking football, a revamp of food and fitness regimens, and financial efficiency.
Arsenal won a second League and Cup double in 1997-98 and a third in 2001-02 after acquiring important players from Wenger’s native France, including Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry.
The club also won the 2003 and 2005 FA Cup finals, reached the final of the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup and won the Premier League in 2003-04 without dropping a single game, an accomplishment that earned the team the moniker “The Invincibles.”
This accomplishment was during a streak of 49 league games played without a loss, a national record, from 7 May 2003 to 24 October 2004.
Though the invincibles record can be broken, one record that Arsenal holds that can never be broken is being the only football club to have afternoon tea with Queen Elizabeth years before she died.