Several social media users are claiming that Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away recently, had personally requested Manchester United to reserve a jersey signed by their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo, thus making him the only human being the Queen had asked for an autograph.
This claim was seen on Facebook too.
The archived versions of the Twitter posts can be seen here and here.
Newschecker first did a search using the keywords “Cristiano Queen Elizabeth”, “Ronaldo Queen signed jersey”, which did not throw up any relevant official reports of the Queen’s demand for the jersey.
What we did learn though was this was not the first time such a claim has gone viral. The earliest instance was traced to September 2021, while scanning the Google search results. The Portuguese football superstar had last year on August 27 pulled off a blockbuster reunion with Manchester United after he had left the club in 2009 for Real Madrid.
Amid the fanfare of his return, we learnt via news reports that the Sport Innovation Society (SIS), a community of sports business leaders, had then tweeted that the Queen requested 80 Manchester United shirts sporting Ronaldo’s name, with a personal request for the first one to be signed by the player himself. We then looked for the tweet, but found that it had been deleted. Instead, we saw that SIS had tweeted out an apology, in response to the same claim tweeted by a verified handle belonging to the club’s fan channel, on September 1, 2021.
The archived version of the apology can be seen here.
Newschecker then found a screenshot of the SIS tweet, posted by news sites soon after it was published. We saw it was the same claim that has resurfaced now, following the Queen’s death.
This also brought us to the question of whether the Queen was a Manchester United fan, or whether the royal family had links to the club. We ran a search using the keywords “Man United Queen Elizabeth”, “Man United UK Royal Family”, when we came across this Goal article, detailing the royal family’s allegiance to various English clubs. London-based Arsenal, Chelsea and West Ham have all been linked to various members of the UK royal family, owing to their geographical proximity, but we learnt that the Queen has been majorly thought to be a West Ham fan. “It’s thought the reigning monarch had kept tight-lipped about her team to remain neutral but it’s since been reported that she could have admired the club [West Ham] as far back as the 1960s. However, it’s also thought the Queen may have had a soft spot for Arsenal after meeting with Arsene Wenger at an event at Buckingham Palace in 2007. It’s rumoured she was particularly impressed with Cesc Fabregas after chatting to him,” the article read.
Also, an article in The Bleacher Report stated that the late Queen’s support most likely lied with West Ham and Arsenal, thereby making the claim that she or the royal family would have ordered a signed jersey or 80 Manchester United jerseys for the royal staff improbable.
Queen Elizabeth II did not request a signed jersey of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the claim resurfacing close to a year after it first appeared and was pulled down by the original tweeter, stating that it could not be verified.
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