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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 19:47 GMT
Arsenal team join Queen for tea
The Queen meets Theo Walcott (l) as Freddie Ljungberg looks on
Theo Walcott (l) and Freddie Ljungberg were among the guests
The Queen has hosted a reception for the Arsenal squad at Buckingham Palace, four months after she cancelled plans to open their new Emirates stadium.

Captain Thierry Henry and other players swapped the Gunners strip for suits as they toured the State Apartments.

They then sipped tea with the Queen, whose bad back forced her to miss the opening of the new stadium in October.

The reception marked the first time a football club has been invited to the royal residence.

Theo Walcott, Freddie Ljungberg and manager Arsene Wenger were also in attendance, spending 40 minutes viewing the palace's historic rooms.

'Very international'

"The Queen was disappointed about not being able to officially open the new Arsenal stadium due to her back strain," said a Buckingham Palace spokesman.

"Her Majesty therefore decided to host a tea to thank those involved in the project for all their hard work and to have a chance to meet some of those she would have seen on the day."

The Queen, whose place at the Emirates opening was filled by the Duke of Edinburgh, complimented Henry on his "very international side".

The Gunners moved to their new stadium over the summer after leaving Highbury, which had been their home for 93 years.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The Queen greets the Arsenal players



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