Queen Elizabeth II: what was the last FA Cup final she went to, why did she stop - which team did she support?

Southampton FC shocked hot favourites Manchester United 1-0 when Her Majesty was last spotted at an FA Cup final.

Following the sudden but peaceful death of Queen Elizabeth II, focus has shifted to her many passions - one being the sport of football.

The longest-reigning United Kingdom head of state died at the age of 96 at her Balmoral Castle residence in Scotland on Thursday, 8 September.

During her 70-year reign, Her Majesty regularly attended major sporting events, such as horse races and football matches - most notably, FA Cup finals.

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    Queen Elizabeth would be seen handing out the famed trophy to the team captain of the victors, as well as distributing medals.

    However, there came a certain point when the monarch stopped attending, transferring the responsibility over to a fellow member of the Royal Family.

    But, what was the last FA Cup final Her Majesty went to? Why did she stop going to the FA Cup finals and which football team did she support? Here is everything you need to know.

    What was the last FA Cup final that Queen Elizabeth II attended?

    Throughout seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II attended several FA Cup finals held at Wembley Stadium, primarily during the earlier years of her reign.

    However, it was after the upset that was the 1976 final that Her Majesty decided enough was enough and handed over presenting duties.

    The final, which was contested by football giants Manchester United and Division Two underdogs Southampton, took place on 1 May 1976 in front of 99,000 spectators.

    In what is still widely regarded as one of the biggest upsets in British football history, Lawrie McMenemy’s south coast Saints triumphed 1-0.

    Southampton’s forward Bobby Stokes cemented his legacy with the winning goal which was scored in the 83rd minute.

    Following the game, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II presented the club’s captain Peter Rodrigues with the famed trophy.

    When talking to the Daily Mail, Rodrigues said: “It was a special occasion that really started the night before when we were instructed at the hotel how to address the Queen, either Ma’am or Your Majesty,”

    “With us leading, I spent the last five minutes gazing up at the Queen and the cup that was next to her, thinking ‘I want to collect that from you, Ma’am’. And it happened, one of the greatest moments of my life”

    Following the 1976 iteration, the Queen would no longer attend any further FA Cup finals for the remaining 56 years of her tenure.

    Welsh full-back Rodrigues will now remain as the last footballer that was presented with the FA Cup trophy by Her Majesty.

    Why did Queen Elizabeth II stop attending FA Cup finals?

    The official reason as to why Queen Elizabeth II stopped attending FA Cup finals at Wembley Stadium was never confirmed.

    However, it is believed that Her Majesty was never the biggest fan of football and preferred horse racing.

    Taking over the responsibility of being the Royal presence at FA Cup finals is her grandson, Prince William, who was named President of the Football Association in 2006.

    Which football team did Queen Elizabeth II support?

    The football allegiance of Her Majesty was long disputed throughout her record-setting reign as monarch.

    A flurry of clubs have been suggested to take her liking, the most mentioned being that of London-based West Ham United.

    It is believed that she was a fan of club icon Bobby Moore, who the Queen handed the World Cup trophy to after England triumphed in 1966.

    She was also reported to be a fan of fellow London club Arsenal, forming a relationship with the club after their visit to Buckingham Palace in 2007.

    Queen Elizabeth II met manager Arsene Wenger, as well as star player Thierry Henry, but was rumoured to be particularly impressed with midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

    However, official confirmation of football allegiance was never made as Her Majesty wished to remain neutral.