The Prince of Wales has apologized to the Lionesses for missing the Women’s World Cup final in Australia.
The England women’s team will play Spain in a historic World Cup final on Sunday (20 August) after beating Australia 3-1 in a thrilling semi-final on Wednesday (16 August).
The Prince of Wales, the Football Association (FA) President, tweeted a personal message of congratulations after the win over Australia, describing it as a “phenomenal achievement”.
However, he has been criticized by football fans after it was confirmed he would not be present for the final in Sydney on Sunday (20 August).
In a video posted to social media on Saturday (August 19), William addressed his absence from tomorrow’s game while seated next to his eight-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte.
“Lionesses, I want to send you good luck for tomorrow. We’re sorry we can’t be there in person, but we’re so proud of everything you’ve accomplished and the millions you’ve inspired here and around the world,” he said.
“So go out tomorrow and really enjoy yourself.”
A grinning Charlotte, holding a soccer ball next to him, added: “Good luck lionesses.”
It is believed that the royal family’s absence from the finale was due to them having to fly around the world for a very short period of time.
Such a long flight would result in a large carbon footprint, which contradicts William’s commitment to fighting climate change. The Prince created the Earthshot Prize in 2019 to find solutions to repair and regenerate the Earth.
However, citing William’s role as FA President, many fans questioned whether the same decision would have been made for the men’s World Cup.
Although he did not take part in the men’s World Cup in Qatar last winter, it was believed at the time that should the England side reach the final, Williams’ office would have arranged for him to travel there. The men’s team was eliminated in the quarter-finals, losing 2-1 to France.
Mandy Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, tweeted: “There’s no chance Prince William will be ‘missing out’ if England men’s football team makes it to the World Cup final.”
“I’m sorry but Prince William not going to Australia for the World Cup Finals is absolute bullshit,” wrote another person on Twitter/X. “He would go if it were the men. He’s the President of the FA?!”
The IndependentExplaining that there was “no good reason” for William and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to miss the event, Tom Peck, political sketchwriter for , wrote: “The England men’s football team is doing pretty well at the moment.” Finale certainly cannot be ruled out. And should that happen, it is highly unlikely that either the Prince or the Prime Minister will be absent from the event.”
Elsewhere, the government has been criticized for failing to declare a public holiday when the Lionesses win.