Spain defeated England, 1-0, in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.
That wasn’t the only English defeat, however, according to many World Cup observers. Prince William, the president of the English Football Association, made the curious decision to skip traveling to Australia to watch the women’s team play at the prestigious cup final.
William reportedly made the decision to skip the long flight due to the short amount of time he would have stayed in Australia. As The Guardian noted, environmentalists “no doubt would have questioned the prince’s green credentials had he hopped on a long-haul flight. He is the founder of the Earthshot prize.”
William, in an apology video posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, also stated that he was concerned about the “diplomatic ramifications” of going to Australia before his father, King Charles.
Still, no senior members of the Royal Family or the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, were in attendance for England’s first World Cup final since 1966. According to The Guardian, many people felt “there should be top-level representation at such a national moment.”
Former England goalkeeper Pauline Cope called the absence of royals, the prime minister or even England’s men’s team manager, Gareth Southgate, “a shame.”
“I will not have any bad words against the royal family. However, this should have been penciled in his [William’s] diary from day dot, after we won the Euros and qualified for the World Cup,” Cope told Time Radio, according to The Guardian.
The world was quick to react to the major nub by William:
I don't want to hear a single damn thing about Harry missing birthday parties or whatever.
William is President of the English Football Association but didn't attend the World Cup game. You can't tell me he would have missed a men's game. https://t.co/wv5aU26CCu
— Jill (@jilldubs) August 20, 2023
It really is absolutely wild that Prince William – the whole President of the English Football Association – is skipping a World Cup final where England is competing. Just unreal.
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) August 20, 2023
Not attending Women's Football Cup Finals is becoming somewhat of a tradition for Prince William. Even has a uniform for the apology vids, & uses Princess Charlotte as a human shield.
Women's Euro Cup Final 22 vs Women's World Cup Final 23. pic.twitter.com/jsh5SR1JfL
— Cromwell (@Cromwell606) August 19, 2023
The so called Royal family get £86ml. The most expensive in Europe. That’s going up to £125ml in 2025. It’s untaxed. It’s public money.
Not enough though to persuade Prince William, who is President of the FA, to attend a World Cup final.
The Royal family are a waste of money. pic.twitter.com/j7M89Njj2s
— Howard Beckett (@BeckettUnite) August 20, 2023
Prince William's decision not to attend the @Lionesses final feels like his first big misstep since he became Prince of Wales.
These reasons cited by 'sources' look utterly lame when you ask the simple Q: would he seriously have not flown to see the men's World Cup Final? pic.twitter.com/pU5U18gtPt
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) August 20, 2023