Born Elizabeth Alexandra May, Elizabeth II is known and beloved all over the world as the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms, a collection of sovereign states which includes Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Billions of people know her name and the highly esteemed position that she holds in the world, but which football team does Queen Elizabeth II support?
As a monarch and the head of the British royal family, Elizabeth II has understandably kept many of her personal likes and dislikes to herself. However, those who have met and spoken with the queen have reported that she is a fan of both the Arsenal Football Club and the West Ham United Football Club.
The Arsenal Football Club
Given her status as a monarch and international figure, it is no surprise that the Queen is a frequent and welcoming hostess. She reportedly hosts over 50,000 people at Buckingham Palace every year for a variety of events, including lunches, banquets, and garden parties.
In 2007, Cesc Fabregas, who was a midfielder for Arsenal at the time, revealed that the Queen had spoken to him at a reception in Buckingham Palace. Also in attendance were the rest of the Arsenal team and their manager, Arsene Wenger.
The team was invited to the reception because the Queen had been unable to attend the grand opening of Emirates Stadium due to a back injury. Opened in October 2006, Emirates Stadium replaced Arsenal Stadium as the home of the North London football team.
According to Fabregas, the Queen knew exactly who he was and told him that she was a fan of the Arsenal team. The two also spoke about Juan Carlos I, who was King of Spain at the time and is a good friend of the Queen.
For Fabregas and his teammates, meeting the Queen at a reception in Buckingham Palace was certainly a memorable occasion. He later shared his experience at the reception on a Spanish radio program.
A royal source has disclosed that the Queen has admired Arsenal for over half a century. In addition, the Queen Mother was a fan of the team and particularly admired one of its former players, Denis Compton.
Despite having a greater interest in rugby than football, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, appears to also be a fan of Arsenal, as he has attended their games at both Emirates Stadium and Arsenal Stadium. In 2015, he revealed that the majority of the royal family were fans of the Arsenal team.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, does not seem to share his family’s support for the Arsenal team. His team of choice is the Aston Villa Football Club, and he has jokingly talked about bringing his son, Prince George, to see them play at Villa Park.
In 2016, Queen Elizabeth II and Arsenal once again appeared in the headlines together. This time, it was former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who spoke of his and the Queen’s shared admiration for the team.
The West Ham United Football Club
Though the Arsenal Football Club appears to be the team most widely associated with Queen Elizabeth II, it is certainly not the only one.
In 2014, it was reported that the Queen was a fan of the West Ham United Football Club, who are often referred to as the Hammers. Apparently, the Queen had been a fan of West Ham for years but had never spoken of it before.
When a member of the Queen’s staff expressed their admiration for the Millwall Football Club, which is West Ham’s greatest rival, the Queen finally disclosed her support.
For years, she was a major fan of Ron Greenwood, who was the team’s manager for over a decade. The two met in person in 1981, when the Queen awarded Greenwood the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
It has also been suggested that the Queen supports the Rangers Football Club of Glasgow, Scotland. The Rangers have won over 50 Scottish League Titles, which is a higher number of wins than any other team in history.
Debates about the Queen’s favorite team continue, but it is clear that her enjoyment of the game does not solely depend on who is playing.
While describing the sport as “difficult business” and the players as “prima donnas”, the Queen also called it “a wonderful game”. No matter which team she personally supports, Queen Elizabeth II has high regard for the game of football and appears to enjoy it immensely.