Prince William “sat in the stands with a beanie” in the first football match to blend in | royal | New

Prince William ‘arranged George’s appearance’, expert says

The Premier League football season is set to resume on Friday evening, with Crystal Palace hosting Arsenal at Selhurst Park, London from 8pm. A summer of transfers and upheavals across every club in the 20-team league makes this term’s edition one of the most anticipated in Premier League history. The start of the season comes less than a week after the Lionesses of England became national heroes, claiming their first-ever victory in a major international tournament at Euro 2022.

The Lionesses, roared by a record crowd in the European Championship final, beat Germany 2-1 in extra time to secure a first victory in the final.

Prince William was on hand to present the winners and losers medals on Sunday, with the royal all smiles as he met the heroic Lionesses.

William will no doubt have his eye on Premier League fixtures this weekend, especially the encounter at the Vitality Stadium, where his beloved Aston Villa take on Bournemouth.

Villa, managed by ex-Liverpool player and former Glasgow Rangers gaffer Steven Gerrard, are some tips for breaking into the top flight of English football, given how talented their team is.

Prince William

Prince William ‘sat in the stands with a beanie’ on first-ever football game to blend in (Image: GETTY)

Prince William meets the players at an FA Cup final

Prince William meets the players at an FA Cup final (Image: GETTY)

The Duke of Cambridge has previously spoken of his affection for Villa, who have won the European Cup once in their illustrious history, once chatting with former Villa player Peter Crouch, the iconic striker who spent two seasons with the Midlands team between 2002 and 2004.

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The footballer and William spoke at length on the former player’s That Peter Crouch podcast in 2021, with the Duke recalling his first game.

He said that in 2020 the first match he attended was an FA Cup clash between Villa and Bolton when he was 11 years old.

The royal continued: “I sat amongst all the Villa fans and loved it and thought the atmosphere was great.

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Prince William and Prince George in the youngster's first game

Prince William and Prince George in the youngster’s first game (Image: GETTY)

“I felt a real connection to the club and I felt Villa were a very proud Midlands club and that was very special.”

In 2015, William again detailed his first time after football, detailing his enjoyment with BBC presenter Gary Lineker.

The 40-year-old said: “A long time ago at school I got very interested in football. I was looking for clubs. All my friends at school were either Man United fans or fans. from Chelsea and I didn’t want to follow the ordinary teams.

“I wanted to have a more midfield team that could give me more emotional roller coaster moments.

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Prince William applauds Aston Villa

Prince William applauds Aston Villa (Image: GETTY)

“Aston Villa have always had a great history. I have friends who support Aston Villa and one of the first FA Cup games I attended was Bolton v Aston Villa in 2000. Unfortunately Villa lost to Chelsea.

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“It was fantastic, I sat with all the fans with my red beanie, and I sat with all the Brummie fans and had a great time.

“It was the atmosphere, the camaraderie and I really felt there was something I could connect with.”

William’s frustration with Chelsea would continue over the years, and he revealed on the 2019 BBC Christmas special, A Berry Royal Christmas, that his son George was in fact supporting West Londoners.

The longest reigning monarchs

The longest reigning monarchs (Picture: EXPRESS)

He said: “George has already written his list for Santa Claus. He loves his drawing, he is a very good draftsman.”

“We could give him something to do with drawing or football. He loves his football too.”

The Duke was then asked if George liked football because of him, he replied: “I try not to be too biased, I said you can support anyone but Chelsea so naturally he supports Chelsea.”

William also explained how George’s love for Chelsea came about and his own concerns with the London side.

He told That Peter Crouch Podcast that he was “not trying to persuade him to be a Villa fan” but was “in fact letting him choose his own path”.

He added: “It’s about finding what suits him.

“I used to be a bit worried that he would support Chelsea, but now Frank [Lampard]I feel like the culture is a bit different at Chelsea and I would be okay with that.”

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