Prince William has issued an apology for his decision to forgo the Women’s World Cup final amid heavy backlash.
The Prince of Wales — who is the president of the Football Association — has been roundly criticised for not making the trip to Sydney to watch England team take on Spain in Sydney tonight.
The Lionesses beat Australia 3-1 in the semi-finals last week to book their place in their first ever World Cup final.
Adding further damage to William’s call is the fact that members of the Spanish royal family will be present for the historic game, including Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter, Infanta Sofia.
On Saturday, the future King – alongside his eight-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte – shared a video message of support to the Lionesses and apologised for not being there to cheer them on in person.
“Lionesses, I want to send you a huge good luck for tomorrow,” he told them.
“We’re sorry we can’t be there in person but we’re so proud of everything you have achieved and the millions you’ve inspired here and around the world. So go out there tomorrow and really enjoy yourselves.”
A smiling Charlotte then added: “Good luck, Lionesses!”
It comes after many people, including high-profile figures such as Piers Morgan, urged the Prince to show his support for the women’s team with his attendance.
The cost of the trip and carbon footprint were cited as reasons for William’s decision to not make the lengthy trip for such a short period.
However, it’s understood King Charles will be holding a royal summit with William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, next week to discuss the future of the monarchy and their strategies for the next 12 months, which could also be a factor in his absence from the final.
While the royal family are currently on holidays, they will gather at Balmoral Castle on Monday to work out a plan.
A Palace source told the UK’s Mirror that the King is very focused on keeping the Commonwealth, “at the very heart of his reign”.
“He sees it as his utmost duty to fulfil the sincere wish of his late mother, that one of his central roles must be to ensure not only the survival but the robustness (of the Commonwealth),” the insider said.