London: Queen Elizabeth II lit up Wimbledon
on Thursday as she walked through the grounds to huge cheers and
mingled with tennis legends past and present.
The sovereign brought the All England Club to a
standstill as she made her first visit to The Championships
since 1977, which also brought the last British singles title
thanks to Virginia Wade.
She was given a standing ovation from the Centre Court
crowd when she appeared in the royal box.
Britain`s Andy Murray and Finland`s Jarkko Niemenen
revived the tradition of bowing to the royal box and received
a huge cheer themselves when they stopped just short of their
seats, turned and bowed to Her Majesty.
Earlier, in bright sunshine, the Queen walked past
Aorangi Terrace -- commonly known as Henman Hill -- before
meeting stars of the game on the members` lawn.
The monarch, 84, took lunch with reigning men`s champion
Roger Federer and five-times champion Venus Williams, as well
as British former champions Virginia Wade, Angela Barrett and
Ann Jones, plus home favourite Tim Henman.
Strawberries and cream were on the menu, preceded by
orange and honey marinated chicken.
Queen Elizabeth walked past Court 18, where John Isner
and Nicholas Mahut made tennis history yesterday by playing
the longest-ever match. They are due to resume today at 59-59
in the final set.
The sovereign, wearing a powder blue outfit and matching
hat, saw an exhibition of junior tennis on Court 14 before
strolling through the cheering crowds to meet the players.
The Queen was introduced to defending champions Federer
and Serena Williams; past Wimbledon winners Martina
Navratilova and Billie Jean King; and some of this year`s top
seeds, including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy
Roddick, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena