The Prince of Wales’ vocal support for the England football team highlights the absurdity of his title
A question: How many nations at the World Cup will have a person who holds the title of their leader who isn’t supporting them in the competition?
How many nations in the World Cup will have a person who is supposed to be representing them around the world who is supporting one of their rivals in the group stage?
This is the absurd position Wales now finds itself in, highlighted by headlines such as Prince of Wales tells England football team ‘the country is behind you’.
There is nothing wrong with Prince William, an Englishman who has supported England all his life, backing his team.
The absurdity is that he’s doing it while holding the Prince of Wales title. It’s rather embarrassing to Wales as a nation, after reaching the World Cup for the first time in 64 years, to have to stomach this.
Furthermore, he seems to have gone out of his way to highlight his support for the English team, when he could have realised the delicacy of the situation and stayed away.
There are two possibilities here – either the Prince of Wales and those around him don’t care about how this looks, or that he just doesn’t know Wales well enough to know how it will go down here.
Both of which call into question whether it’s appropriate for him to be Prince of Wales at all.
I suppose that there is a third option that is slightly more generous to William, which is that he wasn’t in a position to refuse either title – President of the FA or Prince of Wales – without causing a stink.
After all, it can be questioned how much agency members of the Royal Family really have. They can push to highlight their own interests and passions but they are largely figureheads who hold their titles in exchange for going and doing what is required of them.
But even then Prince William and his household could have been a little bit more tactful in how they go about supporting the England football team.
Saying ‘the whole country is behind you’ and ‘we’re all rooting for you’ when they are in just two weeks playing the team that he’s supposed to be the Prince of would, you would think, be a big no-no.
How difficult would it be to make light of the situation and crack a joke about the fact that he would be staying neutral on the topic of their playing Wales?
It is worth remembering that this all comes at the tail end of a rather sensitive period in which the handover of the title of the Prince of Wales was handled rather clumsily and annoyed very many.
The decision was made by the King at great haste and without informing the democratically elected leader of Wales, the First Minister.
It comes after that same new King was booed on arrival in Wales and the local authority of part of Wales, Gwynedd, has voted not to recognise the title of Prince of Wales at all.
You would think that, under these circumstances, the Royals’ very impressive PR machine could demonstrate some sensitivity on such an important occasion for Wales?
But at the end of the day, it is the people of Wales themselves who continue to support this rather absurd state of affairs.
And while that continues, nothing else will change. The Royal Family can’t grow a spine for us.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.