Finally! We have a valid reason to talk about fútbol/soccer on this blog. Remember some of the square pegs we’ve had here before? Click here and there to enjoy the round-hole mayhem.
We don’t labor under the delusion that you’re all sports fans, but the World Cup is winding to a close. Over the course of this month, your Blog Hostess has spotted a few royals in the stands cheering on their squad, typically hued in the colors of their team. An even greater treat, some team-monarch photos have surfaced on that thing called the Internet.
Máxima & Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands & the 2014 National Team
Their Majesties and the Clockwork Orange look like they’re honestly having the time of their lives. Wish I was the squad water-girl or something to get in on that fun. Apropos of nothing, I had no idea Robben was so jacked.
King Phillipe and the 2014 Belgian Squad.
Selfies, nice! Doesn’t Phillipe look like the nicest guy ever? Good posture, symmetrical face, clasped hands yet his body language is welcoming. Of course this avuncular vibe could be the contrast with Belgium’s squad having an average age of 9. I also dig those matching team polos, kids. I said don’t eat the glue, kids!
Beyond selfies, there’s the royal privilege/role when hosting the tournament and further fetes if they win you some silverware…
Elizabeth II of England.
Only once has Queen Elizabeth been honored by her national squad. England both hosted and won the World Cup in 1966. She’s seen here presenting the trophy to England’s captain, Bobby Moore. I love her hat: it’s like a combination pill-box hat and canary.
Interesting side story, the 1966 Jules Rimet Trophy (the pre-1974 model for the World Cup) was put on display prior to the tournament in July. It was stolen and held for ransom on March 20. In true kidnapper style, the cloth lining to the cup was removed and sent in an envelope to the Chairman of the Football Association. The ransom note demanded £50,000 in notes of the £1 and £5 denomination or they would melt the trophy. When it came time for the hand-off, Scotland Yard got him with the old briefcase-full-of-paper-with-a-few-bills-on-top trick. Nice!
As hostess of the European Cup in 1996, Her Majesty revisited her role as trophy maven, this time handing the hardware over to champions Germany.Brandishing the cup is team captain Jürgen Klinsmenn–yes, the same guy who now coaches the US National Team.
Gustav VI Adolfus and Karl XVi Gustav of sweden
Sweden hosted the tournament in 1958 and even though Brazil beat the home team 5-2, King Gustav VI Adolf still presented the trophy with a smile. This championship earned Brazil that first star on their jerseys.
In 1992, Sweden held the European Nations Cup, awarding the trophy to Denmark. There’s no photo of King Karl XVI Gustav presenting the trophy, nor is there any documentation of any Danish royals–Margrethe or otherwise–congratulating them. Bad Google Image Search! Naughty!
if it ain’t dutch…
Spain of my existence
Spain’s national team is now mentioned in hushed voices as their six-year championship dynasty ended with a group-stage whimper. Long before 2008, the country that gave us classical guitar, Gaudí, jamón de bellota and Mr. Blog Hostess was the site for both the 1984 World Cup and the 1962 European Cup. Generalísimo Francisco Franco [no relation] was busy dictating facistly in 1962 and though the host team won, there is no photo of Franco with the Spanish team. Weird considering how much people enjoy a good dictator-and-sports discussion. Come 1984, Juan Carlos I was in power and presented the World Cup to champions Italy.
In 2008, Spain ended their 46-year dry streak winning at the Switzerland/Austria European Cup. [Do not get me started on the bumbling-idiot premise of having two host nations for one tournament. “Bumbling idiot” is the nicest thing I have to say on the subject.] Juan Carlos and Sofía were seated ticket-holders for the final in Vienna, the Queen sporting the team colors spectacularly.
A warm congratulations and sincere thanks were lauded upon coach Luís Aragonés. Back in Madrid, the team was received with a formal ceremony (see top picture.) A much grander celebration took place in 2010, when the entire country pretty much burst like a fireworks finale. Apparently, being Champions of the World has a bit more clout. The royal family along with gads of proud national citizens, met the team’s plane.Spain’s new coach, Vincente del Bosque (moustache, left) seems a bit left out while the King and Spain’s goalkeeper have a private moment with that golden ice cream cone. The coach’s “atta-boy” from Juan Carlos was much grander. Vincente del Bosque was invested as the Marques del Bosque. It’s one of two marquessates that Juan Carlos bequeathed during his reign.
By Euro 2012, celebrating championships was routine but not yet ho-hum. Again the team was received at the Zarzuela. An event worth bookmarking as the Princess of Asturias actually smiled. (See below.)Yes, there are a million up-sides to being a princess–or an infanta if you’re of the Spanish persuasion. A flashy allowance, really sweet family vacations, guaranteed acceptance into the university of your choice regardless of academic performance, the best health care and tiaras tiaras tiaras! So I guess this just makes one more: