Prince William has come under fire for not attending the Women’s World Cup final over the weekend as England faced Spain. The Prince of Wales posted a video wishing the team luck in the huge game but many thought he should have attended in person.
It was the first time an English national football team had made the World Cup final since 1966 and William is president of the Football Association (FA). Many people have suggested that the royal would have made the trip to Australia for the game had it been the men’s team playing.
However, others have suggested there may have been several other reasons why the monarch was not in attendance, in Australia including environmental reasons and royal protocol given that his father the King has yet to visit the country.
There has also been criticism of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s absence with many believing there should have been more representation for such a momentous achievement.
According to The Guardian newspaper, it is understood that William did not attend due to the long flight for what would have been a short trip. As well as this, his father, King Charles has yet to visit Australia since taking the throne and there were potential questions about the diplomatic implications of William visiting the country before him.
Instead, William apologised to the Lionesses for not being there in a video message posted on social media on Saturday. Joined by his daughter he said: “Lionesses, we want to send you a huge good luck for tomorrow, we’re sorry we can’t be there in person but we’re so proud of everything you’ve achieved and the millions you’ve inspired here and around the world. So go out there tomorrow and really enjoy yourselves.”
There has also been criticism of this post with people suggesting that by only posting with his daughter instead of his sons it fed into the stereotype that men were not interested in the women’s game.
The Royal’s no-show has not gone unnoticed with former players as well as media commentators chipping in. The former England goalkeeper Pauline Cope told Times Radio: “I will not have any bad words against the royal family. However, this should have been pencilled in his [William’s] diary from day dot, after we won the Euros and qualified for the World Cup. “Let’s be honest, if it was the men’s World Cup, they would all be here.”
The TV presenter Piers Morgan: “With respect, YRH (Your Royal Highness), you should have got on a plane. Ridiculous that the Queen of Spain is attending the World Cup final to support her nation’s team, and you won’t be there despite being president of the FA.”