England team visit an ‘own goal’ for Prince of Wales says Sky News correspondent
The new Prince of Wales scored an “own goal” when he visited the England team to wish them luck at the World Cup in Qatar, according to Sky News’ Royal correspondent.
Rhiannon Mills said that the controversy around the visit had “played perfectly into the hands of those who don’t want him to be the Prince of Wales”.
William was criticised for being the Prince of one country but backing another after he told England’s World Cup squad “we’re all rooting for you” during a surprise visit to their camp on Monday.
Welsh actor Michael Sheen said that the visit to hand out shirts at England’s World Cup camp was “entirely inappropriate” while he was Prince of Wales.
But speaking during a visit to the Senedd yesterday, Prince William sought to play down the controversy by saying that both football teams would have his full support.
“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,” he said.
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? #PrinceofWales https://t.co/Hoanq9snXt
— michael sheen 💙 (@michaelsheen) November 15, 2022
The Prince’s handling of the matter did not however impress Rhiannon Mills who said that it had created “a problem for William and his team, as it’s opened up the debate about his title to a much bigger audience”.
“His advisers would argue that he has always very publicly been an England supporter, and would we really expect him to completely change allegiances,” she said.
“But on a day which was billed as a chance for him to find out what really matters to people in Wales, and an important moment for building connections, he could have done more to show support for the national team.”
She added that “as emotions build ahead of the first World Cup games, there will be those who’ll be thinking if he isn’t supporting the team, is he really one of them?”
Her comments came after actor Michael Sheen took to social media to respond to his English FA trip, saying: “He can, of course, support whoever he likes and as President of the FA his role makes visit understandable.
“But surely he sees holding the title Prince of Wales at the same time is entirely inappropriate?
“Not a shred of embarrassment? Or sensitivity to the problem here?”
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