‘I was so nervous I forgot Julio Baptista’s name!’: Thierry Henry pays tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II and reveals an endearing story of introducing her to his Arsenal team at Buckingham Palace
- Thierry Henry paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II after her death last week
- Henry spent some of the best years of his career in England with Arsenal
- And he introduced the Queen to his Arsenal team at Buckingham Palace in 2007
Having spent the golden years of his playing career in London, Thierry Henry was well placed to recognized the significance of Queen Elizabeth II’s death last week.
The Frenchman paid tribute to her during his appearance on Tuesday’s CBS Champions League show and opened up on when he introduced Her Majesty to his Arsenal team at Buckingham Palace.
Renowned for being suave and cool on and off the pitch, Henry admitted he was anything but when in the presence of royalty.
Thierry Henry paid an emotional tribute to Queen Elizabeth II after her passing last week
In 2007, Henry introduced the Queen to his Arsenal team after they were invited to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea
‘I had the opportunity to meet the Queen and I was nervous, as hell,’ Henry said. ‘I remember thinking “I am about to play a game or something”.
‘When you are at Buckingham Palace and you are meeting the Queen -I looked at Julio Baptista and forgot his name! I was like “who is that?”.
‘It was my duty to introduce everybody (as Arsenal captain). When you are nervous you want to go back into your own language? I don’t think that if I had spoken French it would have worked.
‘It is very difficult to talk about her in the past tense. I am French, I am proud to be French… but I am a Londoner. I tend to understand what the royal family was, what she did represent and I have only respect for her.
‘It was a great moment, I was nervous as you saw. Everyone is still mourning, it is fresh in everybody’s mind and I think it will be for a long time.’
Henry said he was so nervous when meeting the Queen, he nearly started speaking in French
The Arsenal side were invited for afternoon tea with the Queen in 2007, a year after she was unable to open the club’s Emirates stadium.
Last week, Arsenal had travelled to Switzerland to face Zurich in their opening group game of this season’s Europa League campaign and only learnt the news of the Queen’s passing at half-time.
The resumption of the second half was delayed so that both sides could pay their respects with a minute’s silence in memory of Her Majesty.