Royalty and statesmen




The Queen receives a tennis racket signed by members of the Davis Cup Team as she opens the new home of British tennis in Roehampton
Photo: © AFP
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A photographer captures the moment when a group of dignitaries wait for a sight of the monarch not realising she is directly underneath them sheltering from the rain
Photo: © PA

The Queen has a brolly good day out at the tennis

30 MARCH 2007

Tennis in Blighty always comes with the hazard of rain stopping play, but the Queen wasn't going to let the drizzle dampen her spirits as she officially opened the new National Tennis Centre in Roehampton on Thursday. Resplendant in a blue ensemble perfectly accessorised with a matchin brolly, the monarch met some of the country's top tennis players as well as future stars of the sport.

The 80-year-old royal, who was presented with a tennis racket memento signed by the Davis Cup Team, chatted to trainer Judy Murray - mother of Scottish sensation Andy - and congratulated her on his progress. She also saw performances from youngsters including Beth Askell, 11, who has been playing since she was three. Her Majesty told her to keep up her schooling as well as her practicing.

Top-ranking Brit player Greg Rusedski, who has been training at the £32 million new centre which replaces the Lawn Tennis Association's former base at Queen's Club - said that the regal visitor was "very impressed" by the standard of the state-of-the-art facilities.

While the day went without a hitch there was one moment when it seemed the guest of honour had gone missing. As the great and the good of the game lined up on a balcony with their cameras at the ready they had no idea the Queen was directly underneath them - sheltering from the weather behind the changing rooms.

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