At a Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday (May 21), the Queen opened up about how she nearly died in 1994 when a rogue cricket ball was flying towards her. HELLO! UK chatted with one party goer, Lucy Stafford, who shared the scary story.
“The Queen was very funny. She reminisced about how her bodyguard had caught a cricket ball flying towards her at a match in 1994,” she told HELLO! UK. “She said she would have been dead if it hadn’t been caught!”
Deaths due to cricket balls aren’t unheard of! The most recent incident took place in 2014, when South Australia batsman Phillip Hughes passed away at age 25 after being hit in the neck by a ball.
It was also long rumoured that Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King George II and father of George III, who was once heir to the British throne, died from complications due to an injury from a cricket ball. Scientists now think his 1751 death was due to a pulmonary embolism.
Players are still fairly frequently injured by the flying objects to this day.
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What an incredible day! So honoured to have been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. We had the most delicious afternoon tea in the gardens and even finished the day by meeting the Queen (who told us about how a cricket ball almost killed her in 1994) and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Can’t quite believe it all really happened!
Incredibly, this brush with demise by cricket ball is not the only near-death experience the Queen has had. Her Majesty survived two assassination attempts in 1981, and had a scary run-in with a bedroom intruder at Buckingham Palace the very next year. She was also once nearly shot by palace staff while going for a walk on the grounds at around 3 a.m. A guard who spotted her called out, asking her to identify herself.
“Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you,” he replied when she said she was the Queen.
“That’s quite all right, next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me,” the monarch said back, with all of her characteristic dry humour.
Lucy scored an invite to the sunny palace party after founding Hospital Love Blankets, a charitable organization that puts together care packages for young adults who spend a lot of time in hospitals. The incredible 19-year-old also has been part of campaigns advocating for the inclusion of medical cannabis in the United Kingdom.
The young woman took to Instagram to share some fun photos from the event. In a carousel of snaps, Lucy poses alongside a woman, who appears to be her mom, named Kate. She also shared a photo of the Queen, as well as Duchess Kate and Prince William sharing a cheeky dance moment.
“What an incredible day!” she wrote. “So honoured to have been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. We had the most delicious afternoon tea in the gardens and even finished the day by meeting the Queen (who told us about how a cricket ball almost killed her in 1994) and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Can’t quite believe it all really happened!”
On a happier note, two incredibly lucky Canadians also got the chance to meet the Queen at the garden party. Emma and Maggie Archibald told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald meeting Her Majesty was nerve-wracking, but that the monarch was very interested in what they both did for a living.