Prince William is Prince of Wales and President of the Football Association, the organization in charge of British soccer. These two roles make for a tricky spot for the heir to the throne today: Wales and England face each other in the final game of the group stage. So, Prince William's Twitter, @KensingtonPalace, shared: "Here we go…may the best team win! Dyma ni … boed i’r tîm gorau ennill!" with flags of England and Wales.
Before the tournament began, Prince William also tweeted in Welsh and English, "Wishing the very best of luck to @Cymru and @England as they kick off in the #FifaWorldCup today. Looking forward to watching! W."
Earlier in November, when Prince William visited the Senedd, the Welsh parliament, in Cardiff, he was asked about his support for the two squads. "I support both," he said at the time. "I support England more in the football but Wales in the rugby. When I was growing up, Wales didn’t get through to the tournaments but I will be supporting them all the way through the process."
Before the teams jetted off to Qatar to compete in the Men's World Cup, Prince William met with Team England to hand out jerseys and tell them, "I'm really here to just kind of point out that the rest of the country's behind you. We're all rooting for you. Enjoy it."
He did not meet with Team Wales, but ahead of their first match, he tweeted, "After reaching the #FIFAWorldCup for the first time since 1958, it’s only right to watch the first @Cymru game in style. Thanks for the bucket hat @ElinCeredigion!" with a photo of a Team Wales bucket hat:
Yesterday, too, the Kensington Royal account retweeted the Team Wales account video on Welsh player Cofio Gary.
Some prominent Welsh voices criticized Prince William for his stance towards Team Wales and Team England. Welsh actor Michael Sheen wrote on Twitter, "He can, of course, support whoever he likes and as Pres of FA his role makes visit understandable - but surely he sees holding the title Prince of Wales at same time is entirely inappropriate? Not a shred of embarrassment? Or sensitivity to the problem here?"
He continued in a short thread, "For those who care the issue is that the title Prince of Wales seems inappropriate to be held by anyone not Welsh and this is just an instance of the absurdity. It’s not about supporting England or Wales or both. The title Prince of Wales was first given to the heir to the English throne by his father the King as a sign of dominance over a defeated Welsh people. The 'tradition' can be continued or not on the whim of whoever inherits the throne. Many Welsh people feel it should be ended. It’s entwined with so much of our history and how many of our present-day challenges have evolved since then that it can be for many an issue that holds much more than just its surface meaning."
As of now, Prince William has no plans to attend the World Cup in Qatar. If England wins or ties, they are set to advance out of the round of 16. It is extremely unlikely, but still possible that Wales could still advance as well, if they beat England and have a high goal differential (at least four goals).
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