Monday I reported on a bit of a dust-up involving Scotland’s Andy Murray and the Queen of England. When he was told Queen Elizabeth would be appearing at Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years and that she would likely take in one of his matches, Murray said he was “unsure” if he would bow to the Queen - as has been protocol over the years.
(Official itinerary of Queen Elizabeth at Wimbledon today)
Thanks to negative reaction to his comments, Murray quickly backed down and did his duty today on Centre Court in the presence of “H.M.” (Her Majesty.)
But Murray’s lack of enthusiasm for the tradition apparently wasn’t lost on Wimbledon officials. Nor was his past comments about the World Cup. When recently asked who he was rooting for in South Africa, Murray reportedly said, “anyone but England.“
That attitude prompted LONDON GUARDIAN columnist Kevin Mitchell to recently note:
A Scottish colleague reckons Murray’s innocent remark might have cost the player many thousands in sponsorship from southern-based companies wary of his perception south of the border. Which says a lot about the people who sell us stuff.
Murray’s lack of devotion to the crown is most certainly bourne of centuries of conflict between England and Scotland. The feeling is mostly mutual, witness one of the original verses of God Save The Queen:
Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the Queen!
Amazing to note that God Save The Queen, while obviously an original English tradition, is also now the official anthem of the United Kingdom - which includes Scotland. Needless to say, that verse was dropped long before the U.K. took up the song in an official capacity.
So perhaps it wasn’t a total shock today when Wimbledon officials noted in their itinerary for the Queen that after Scotsman Murray took his spot at Centre Court, there would be “no national anthem.”
Though I’m guessing most of the motivation for the move was out of deference to Murray, I think it’s a safe bet that Wimby also didn’t want to risk the stray boo emanating from the unwashed - no doubt attributed to a stray Scot, Welsh- or Irishman.