Prince William: This could be the reason why he didn't go to watch the Lionesses in Australia

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Prince William - who's well known for his interest in football, has been catching a lot of heat after failing to attend England's World Cup final without any explanation.

Prince William's love for sports, particularly football, has long been a part of his public persona. His involvement with the FA and his ardent support for Aston Villa underscore his deep connection to the world of football. Beyond royal duties, he stands as a testament to the unifying power of sports.

Prince William: This could be the reason why he didn't go to watch the Lionesses in Australia Max Mumby

However, his recent decision to remain absent during the Lionesses' World Cup final match against Spain in Australia has ignited a wave of controversy and backlash.

Heartbreak for Lionesses

In the decisive match held at Sydney's Stadium Australia, Captain Olga Carmona's early strike proved to be the determining factor, sealing the fate of the contest. Unfortunately for the Lionesses, their attempt to recreate their triumphant Wembley Euros performance from a year earlier fell short.

Prince William: This could be the reason why he didn't go to watch the Lionesses in Australia DeFodi Images

Despite England's determined efforts to level the playing field, they were unable to secure the equalizer. This defeat marks a notable occurrence for England under the leadership of Sarina Wiegman, constituting only their second loss under her guidance.

Meanwhile, Spain made history by becoming the first European team to claim the Women's World Cup since Germany's triumph in 2007. According to Fox Sports, this remarkable victory cements Spain's position among a select group of nations who have earned the coveted trophy, joining the ranks of the United States, Japan, Norway, and Germany.

Prince William facing backlash for 'no-show'

In a heartfelt video shared on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), Prince William, in his capacity as the head of the FA, expressed his apologies to the England team. 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.'

Beside him sat Princess Charlotte, clutching a football, who added her well wishes, saying, 'Good luck, Lionesses.'

However, following England's 1-0 defeat to Spain in the final, Prince William's absence drew sharp criticism. While he took to Twitter to commend the team's efforts, stating: 'Although it’s the result none of us wanted, @Lionesses you have done yourselves and this nation proud,' the decision not to attend the game in person sparked speculations about the reasons behind it.

Gerry Sutcliffe, a former minister for sport, expressed his opinion, suggesting that given his role as the president of the FA, Prince William's presence should have been a given, saying, 'I think the Prince of Wales should be there... it’s the World Cup final and he’s the president of the FA.' Spain's Queen Letizia, in contrast, attended the match to support her team, alongside her daughter Infanta Leonor.

Underlying reason behind Prince William's absence

Some reports indicated that Royal protocol might be a determining factor. With King Charles yet to visit Australia since becoming the head of state, it has been suggested that this protocol may prevent Prince William from attending before his father. According to The Guardian, this fact has given rise to discussions about the potential diplomatic implications of Prince William visiting the country before his father, the new monarch, has had the opportunity to do so.

Prince William's connection to the Lionesses' journey extends beyond their recent World Cup final. Having witnessed their victory at the European Championship the previous year, he presented them with their well-deserved medals at Wembley. Moreover, in June, he personally visited the St George’s Park training base to convey his best wishes before their departure for Australia.

Prince William: This could be the reason why he didn't go to watch the Lionesses in Australia Karwai Tang

As per The Mirror, environmental considerations also entered the discourse surrounding Prince William's absence. Notably, he has championed the cause of climate change and established the Earthshot prize. It's believed that the decision to avoid long-distance flights for a brief stay in Australia was influenced by environmental concerns, even though this motive wasn't explicitly stated.

Read more:

Prince William: Why he didn't fight for the country like Prince Harry did

England vs Wales: Who will Prince William be supporting in the World Cup?

Prince William: This is his secret hobby

Here are all the footballers that will not play in the World Cup, including Beth Mead

© Max Mumby

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