Queen sees cricket system in action
The Queen got to grips with cricket's controversial new system for deciding if players are out or not - thanks to the England women's captain.
Charlotte Edwards found herself explaining to the Queen the hotly disputed decision review system (DRS) when the monarch visited Lord's cricket ground in central London to watch the second Ashes Test.
With keen cricket fan the Duke of Edinburgh convalescing at Windsor Castle after his recent operation, the Queen had made her traditional trip to meet the teams alone.
When she last attended an Ashes test at Lord's in 2009 two quick Australian wickets fell and later the Aussies suffered a batting collapse. But this time England were the side losing wickets - three in around 15 minutes, including the captain Alastair Cook.
Former Australian prime minister John Howard was sat next to the Queen in the pavilion and he could not contain his excitement when Cook's wicket fell and clapped enthusiastically.
When England batsman Joe Root was given out leg before wicket the decision was referred to a third umpire behind the scenes who used technology to check the decision. The England women's captain talked the Queen through what was happening as images showing the heat marks left by the ball on the batsman's bat and were screened for the sell out crowds.
The sportswoman, who in a few weeks will lead her players against Australia in the women's Ashes series, said: "I was trying to explain the DRS and I think she understood it. I was telling her if the ball hits the pad first its out, even if the ball goes on to hit the bat. Having her here makes it an extra special day, the excitement around the ground this morning grew when she arrived."
Philip's absence was missed by senior figures from the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) - the guardians of the laws and spirit of the game - which owns Lord's. But the Duke appears to be making good progress after last month's exploratory abdominal surgery as Buckingham Palace said he would travel from Windsor Castle to join the Queen in Scotland during August. The Queen will be travelling to Balmoral for her traditional summer break next week but it is not thought Philip will be among her party.
When the Queen first arrived at Lord's she met the players on the pitch, chatting briefly to the two sides. The famous ground is the home of cricket and will celebrate its bicentenary next year after being established by cricketer and businessman Thomas Lord in 1814. The Queen, the MCC's patron, met senior officials from the world of cricket in the pavilion's committee room before settling down to watch some of the morning's play.
Her trip was hosted by MCC president Mike Griffith, who regretted that Philip could not make the visit. He said: "It's a shame the Duke could not be here, I guess he's watching it at home. He was our president twice, first in 1949 and then in 1974 but it's wonderful to have the Queen here."