Prince William, who bears the royal title Prince of Wales, has defended his support for the English football team as he meets lawmakers in the Welsh Parliament.
Visiting the Assembly Building in Cardiff, the 40-year-old heir to the throne promised lawmakers he would support both Wales and England at the World Cup in Qatar.
Wales are playing in the tournament for the first time in 64 years.
“I tell everyone I definitely support both of them. I can’t lose,” said William, a fan of mid-table Aston Villa in the Premier League.
But he admitted: “I’ve supported England since I was very young”.
He said it wouldn’t “look right” if he changed allegiances now.
However, there was better news of royal support for Wales, as William admitted: “I am happy to support Wales over England in rugby”.
The sports-obsessed prince regularly attends football matches in England and watches the Women’s Euro 2022 final at Wembley this summer with wife Kate and eldest son George.
He is also the President of the English Football Association, the governing body for English football.
William’s outspoken support for English football has angered some proud Welshmen.
Actor Michael Sheen tweeted on Tuesday: “He can, of course, support those he loves, and as Chairman of the Football Association his role makes the visit understandable – but surely he finds it totally inappropriate to hold the title of Prince of Wales at the same time?”
On Tuesday, William visited footballers in England at their training camp and handed captain Harry Kane and other players their official World Cup jerseys.
“I’m just here to point out that the rest of the country is behind you,” William told the team.
William took over the title of Prince of Wales from his father, King Charles III, upon his ascension to the throne.
Charles was enthroned as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle in northwest Wales in 1969, although his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, bestowed the title upon him in 1958.
But the title is controversial, particularly among Welsh nationalists.
Around 38,000 people signed a petition on change.org calling the title an “insult to Wales” and “a symbol of historical oppression”.
She points out that the last Prince of Wales was killed by English soldiers in the thirteenth century and that only English princes have assumed this role since then.
“The title suggests that Wales is still a principality, undermining Wales’ standing as a nation and state.” (AFP)