Prince George cheers England's Euro 2020 finals goal; Prince William calls loss 'heartbreaking'
Prince William and Kate Middleton brought a special guest, and good luck charm, to Wembley Stadium to watch England take on Italy in the Euro 2020 finals match Sunday.
Prince George cheered on England with his parents, nattily dressed in a striped red and blue tie with a sharp blazer. The couple's oldest son, 7, looked much like his similarly attired father, the President of the Football Association. Kate honored her country's colors by sporting a white blazer.
George expressed an ebullient reaction to England's early goal during the match, laughing wildly while looking at his father and clapping. He then went in for an excited hug with his mother during his celebration.
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George's full-on cheer became an instant meme on British social media.
🚨⚽️ | NEW: Prince George reacts to England’s goal pic.twitter.com/5JcXEYpaBL
— Politics For All (@PoliticsForAlI) July 11, 2021
Prince George was all of us when Luke Shaw's goal went in 🙌 #Euro2020Final pic.twitter.com/5vvGzMrzWy
— Metro (@MetroUK) July 11, 2021
Before the game, William shared a video message on Instagram wishing the entire team "the very best of luck."
"To every member of the England team on and off the pitch, just want to wish you the very best of luck for tonight. What a team performance it's been," he said. "Every member of the squad has played their part, all the background team as well have been truly essential. I can't really believe this is happening."
"You bring out the very best of England," he concluded. "The whole country is behind you. So bring it home."
A post shared by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@dukeandduchessofcambridge)
"You bring out the very best of England and we're all behind you. The whole country is behind you. So bring it home," he added.
Also in attendance at the game were the impressively suited David Beckham and Tom Cruise, who celebrated the early England goal with a fist bump.
The celebration was short-lived. After Luke Shaw's early goal for England, Italy tied the score before the end of regulation time. Italy went on to win in a penalty shoot-out that broke England's heart.
Euro 2020: Italy defeats England in UEFA Euro 2020 final in penalty kick shootout
Prince William, Kate Middleton and David Beckham react to #England’s loss #Euro2020Final pic.twitter.com/hkEw0n4JgA
— ° (@babaisthename) July 11, 2021
The televised view of the despondent royal family, Prince William's hands on Prince George's shoulders, is the forever image that summed up the national heartbreak. Beckham looked shocked and alone in the the stands staring at the scenes of Italian players celebrating.
Prince George is perhaps every England football fan right now - from Sheer ecstasy of Luke Shaw goal to heart break of watching Rashford, Sancho and Saka miss Penalties!
Football will come home, not today but someday!
Congratulations Italy.#Euro2020Final pic.twitter.com/GrxpfzgIu5
— LASIEF ABDIKHADIR (@LasiefA) July 11, 2021
William pulled it together and tweeted a classy congratulations to Italy from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official Twitter account.
"Heartbreaking," William wrote, before addressing the English team. "You’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day. You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves — I know there’s more to come. W. "
The next day, the prince called out racist comments online that targeted several Black footballers on England's team.
"I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match," he wrote. "It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W"
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Prince George cheers England at Euro 2020, William addresses racism