Games, races in UK on hold after queen’s death

Play has been suspended for the rest of Thursday and for Friday at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.

The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth has been suspended for Thursday and Friday after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the DP World Tour announced.

“On behalf of our members and everyone connected with the European Tour group and the BMW PGA Championship, it is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” the DP World Tour announced.

“She was truly an inspiration to the people the world over. … Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the Royal Family at this time.”

The world golf tour said that all facilities at the club will remain closed Friday and that further updates on the resumption of play will be provided at a later time. Flags at the Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-staff.

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.

Buckingham Palace announced that she died at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland, where members of the royal family had rushed to her side after her health took a turn for the worse.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan are tied for the lead in the BMW PGA Championship, having completed their second round at 8 under. There were 30 golfers still on the course when play was suspended.

“We are greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty today,” Peter Forster, the captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, said via a statement. “Following her accession in 1952, Her late Majesty graciously accepted the Patronage of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, as has been the custom of reigning Monarchs since HM King William IV in 1834.

“Although not a golfer, Her late Majesty’s 70-year patronage of the club was a great honour for its members. We hold His Majesty The King and all The Royal Family in our thoughts at this time of mourning.”

In 1966, Elizabeth handed the Jules Rimet Trophy to England captain Bobby Moore when the national soccer team won the men’s World Cup by beating West Germany at Wembley Stadium.

The Premier League had yet to announce plans for this weekend’s soccer matches, but the league issued a statement on Twitter.

“The Premier League is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and condolences are with The Royal Family and everyone around the world mourning the loss of Her Majesty.”

Elsewhere on the pitch, Manchester United’s Europa League match against Real Sociedad, along with West Ham’s match in the Europa Conference League, are scheduled to go ahead Thursday with a minute’s silence held before kickoff and players wearing black armbands.

Queen Elizabeth II long had ties to the sporting community, having knighted dozens of athletes during her reign, including tennis player Andy Murray, cyclist Bradley Wiggins and long-distance runner Mo Farah.

The US Open said it would hold a moment of silence on Thursday night before the start of the women’s semifinal match between Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia.

Queen Elizabeth II attended matches at Wimbledon in 1957, 1962, 1977 and 2010. In 1977, the championship’s centenary year, she watched British player Virginia Wade win the women’s singles title.

She also was a big fan of horses, owning dozens of them, and attended races regularly, including the Kentucky Derby in 2007. Horse races in at least five different countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, are named after her.

She first rode a horse at the age of 3 — and was immediately besotted with them — and would inherit the breeding and racing stock of her father, King George VI, when she acceded to the throne in 1952.

“My philosophy about racing is simple,” she said in a BBC documentary, “The Queen’s Racehorses: A Personal View.” “I enjoy breeding a horse that is faster than other people’s.

“And to me, that is a gamble from a long way back. I enjoy going racing but I suppose, basically, I love horses, and the thoroughbred epitomizes a really good horse to me.”

The queen had approaching 2,000 winners as a racehorse owner, with her jockeys always wearing purple, gold and scarlet — the colors of the storied royal racing silks also used by her father and by her great-grandfather King Edward VII.

Her first winner was a horse called Monaveen, at Fontwell in 1949, and she went on to win all of the so-called “classics” in British horse racing except for The Derby, another event she attended for most of her life.

One of the queen’s most famous wins came at Royal Ascot in 2013 when Estimate became the first horse owned by a reigning monarch to win the prestigious Gold Cup. It was her first win in an elite race since 1989, and she was seen clapping enthusiastically as jockey Ryan Moore powered through to finish first by a neck in front of 61,000 racegoers.

The British Horseracing Authority announced all racing would be suspended Thursday and Friday to remember Queen Elizabeth II’s “extraordinary life and contribution to our sport and our nation.”

“Her Majesty has been one of the greatest and most influential supporters in the history of horseracing,” a statement read. “Her passion for racing and the racehorse shone brightly throughout her life, not only through her close involvement in breeding and racing horses, but in her roles as a patron of The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and as the figurehead of Royal Ascot.

“It is right, therefore, that all racing is suspended for today and tomorrow as we begin to grieve Her Majesty’s passing and remember her extraordinary life and contribution to our sport and our nation.”

The queen made a personal appearance at the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London.

In a statement, Formula One said it sends “its deepest condolences to the Royal Family and to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”

The Rugby Football Union paid its respects on social media, saying it was “very saddened to hear of the death of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and offer our condolences to the whole Royal Family at this time.”

With the death of the queen, her son Charles automatically becomes monarch, even though the coronation might not take place for months. Royal officials said the 73-year-old had chosen to call himself King Charles III.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.