A blog from World TeamTennis co-founder Billie Jean King after meeting the Queen at Wimbledon today (Thursday)
After 49 Years The King Finally Meets the Queen
After 49 years of coming to Wimbledon, today I was honored to meet Queen Elizabeth II. Tim Phillips, the chairman of the All England Club introduced us in the grassy courtyard of the member’s enclosure.
The Queen thanked me for being loyal to Wimbledon and we talked briefly about the role tennis plays in so many lives, including how it is a life sport for people of all ages and abilities.
Joined by some of the greatest players of the sport, including those from yesterday and today, I stood in the receiving line with the great Martina Navratilova on my right and one of Britain’s young stars Laura Robson on my left. Venus and Serena were there, as were Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and others.
I was coached by my longtime friend Elton John on the etiquette when greeting the Queen. He told me to say "good morning Your Majesty" and how to address her when she asked questions. His advice really put me at ease and I have to say Elton was right on. It was simple, elegant and definitely a special moment.
So with the sun high in the sky over southwest London, the Queen moved to her seats in the Royal Box to watch Andy Murray and Jarkko Nieminen and left the grounds, having checked one more thing off of life’s list, trying to soak it all in and recognizing how very blessed I am to have so many wonderful opportunities in my life.
Billie Jean King
June 24, 2010