The Queen: The sporting events that coincided with Her Majesty's major milestones

By Sports Desk September 08, 2022

Over seven decades on the throne, the Queen oversaw a number of major events – not least in the sporting world.

Sport was a significant feature of Her Majesty's 70-year reign, from attending events to handing over trophies, most famously in 1966 when England lifted the World Cup at Wembley.

Following the announcement of her passing on Thursday, Stats Perform looks at the major sporting events that coincided with prominent milestones throughout the Queen's reign.

 

The Queen's Coronation, 1953

Princess Elizabeth was officially crowned Queen on June 2, 1953, a year after the death of her father George VI. Aged just 25, her ascension to the throne took place amid a glittering ceremony at Westminster Abbey. In the sporting world, Alberto Ascari won the Formula One championship for a second successive year shortly after the historic moment. He remains one of only two Ferrari drivers to have won multiple titles, along with the great Michael Schumacher, while no Italian has triumphed since. This was also the year Ken Rosewall, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, won the first of his eight grand slam titles with victory at the Australian Open, aged just 18. Incredibly, the last of those major triumphs arrived 21 years after his maiden success at Wimbledon in 1974.

The Silver Jubilee, 1977

The Queen's Silver Jubilee marked the 25th anniversary of her accession and was celebrated by millions throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Known for her love of horse racing, Her Majesty would no doubt have had a watching eye on that year's Grand National, won that year for an unprecedented third time by Red Rum – a record that stands to this day. A week on from that event, Tom Watson edged out Jack Nicklaus in a thrilling conclusion to the Masters, and he did likewise later in the year when coming out on top at The Open.

The Golden Jubilee, 2002

The Queen's 50-year anniversary on the throne coincided with a bumper year of sport, the highlight being the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan – the first time the football showpiece had been held outside of the Americas or Europe – which was won by Brazil for a fifth time. While the World Cup, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games garnered plenty of attention, that year's must-see one-off event was Lennox Lewis' heavyweight bout with Mike Tyson in Tennessee, with the Briton winning by knockout in the eighth round.

The Diamond Jubilee, 2012

The London Olympics was the biggest sporting event on home soil during the Queen's lifetime – bigger even than England's famous World Cup triumph of 1966 – and coincided with her Diamond Jubilee. The Games were a massive success, particularly for Great Britain, and proved one of many highlights in a remarkable sporting year. Europe produced one of the Ryder Cup's greatest ever comebacks in what is now known as 'The Miracle at Medinah', while Spain thrashed Italy 4-0 to win Euro 2012. Perhaps bigger than all that, though, was the news that Lance Armstrong had been banned from cycling for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after being found to have used performance-enhancing drugs over the course of his career.

The Sapphire Jubilee, 2017

Sixty-five years is a long time, with this Jubilee making the Queen the first British monarch to hit the Sapphire milestone. Sergio Garcia's wait for a first major would have felt just as long, the Spaniard claiming victory in a sudden-death play-off with Justin Rose at the Masters in what was his 74th major. The conclusion to that tournament provided drama aplenty, yet it was nothing compared to that year's Super Bowl as the New England Patriots recovered from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in the largest comeback in the showpiece's history. It also remains the only Super Bowl to be decided in overtime.

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