Ashes 2013: Queen Elizabeth II visits Lord's for 2nd Test

Queen Elizabeth II was given three cheers by both teams and then applauded from the field as she headed back to the pavilion © Getty Images

London: Jul 18, 2013

England and Australia’s Ashes cricketers enjoyed an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Lord’s on Thursday before the start of the second Test.

The monarch of both Britain and Australia, wearing a blue hat, blue dress and white jacket with blue trim, walked out of the iconic Lord’s Pavilion and on to the field, where both teams were lined up to greet her ahead of the first day’s play.

The head of state was introduced to the Australia team first as captain Michael Clarke led her down the line of players.

And, as the last of the 28,825 sell-out crowd took their seats, England captain Alastair Cook and his side took their turn for a handshake and a brief word with the monarch.

This was scheduled to be Queen Elizabeth’s penultimate engagement before leaving next week for her traditional summer holiday at her private Balmoral estate in Scotland.

The 87-year-old said Wednesday she hoped her grandson Prince William’s heavily pregnant wife Catherine would give birth before soon before she heads off for her break.

Among the England team were the leading performers of the first Test, which the hosts won in dramatic fashion at Trent Bridge on Sunday, including man-of-the-match pace bowler James Anderson and batsman Ian Bell, who scored a crucial century.

The sovereign was given three cheers by both teams and then applauded from the field as she headed back to the pavilion, where she was introduced to coaching staff from both sides before taking a seat to watch some of the day’s play.

Lord’s is regarded as the ‘home of cricket’ and is owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) — the guardians of the laws and spirit of the game.

The north London ground will celebrate its bicentenary next year after being established by cricketer and businessman Thomas Lord in 1814.

Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, a keen cricket fan and a former MCC president, usually accompanies the queen during Ashes engagements.

However, the 92-year-old is convalescing following exploratory abdominal surgery last month.