Prince William Gives England’s Men’s Soccer Squad Advice from Prince Louis

  • Prince William is visiting to the England men’s soccer team before the UEFA EURO 2024 tournament in Germany
  • The Prince of Wales is president of the Football Association and a loyal soccer follower
  • The outing comes after William served as an usher at the wedding of his friend, the Duke of Westminster, on June 7

Prince William is kicking off the work week by passing on some advice to England’s top soccer stars from his youngest son, Prince Louis.

On June 10, the Prince of Wales, 41, stepped out at St. George’s Park in Burton upon Trent to wish England’s men’s soccer team luck at the UEFA EURO 2024 tournament, which begins in Germany this week.

He had some words of wisdom to pass on from children Louis, 6, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, too after he asked what he could tell the England team while driving them to school earlier in the day.

“The best bit of advice I got was to eat twice the amount you normally would eat!” William told the squad.

“So, I now have visions of you running around with massive great tummies. So maybe take my youngest’s advice with a pinch of salt — particularly around the physio team.”

William also gave the soccer stars some words of encouragement, having watched them all play during the regular club season.

“It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be challenging and everything you’ve ever dreamed of wearing that England shirt,” said William.

Prince William with England men’s soccer team captain Harry Kane at St. George’s Park, Burton, on Monday June 10, 2024.

Andrew Parsons / Kensington Palace

Shortly after he arrived at the soccer center located about two hours north of his home in Windsor, William heard from England head coach Gareth Southgate about how the squad was preparing for the championship. He asked them where they would be based and their plans for their flight out.

Greeting the players, William praised the “togetherness” that Southgate “has instilled in all of you over the years. You fight for each other, you play for each other and you really care for about putting that [England] shirt on.”

Prince William is the president of the Football Association, the governing body of soccer in England. He slipped into the stands several times this spring for Premier League games and twice brought along Prince George, who seems to have inherited his fandom for Aston Villa.

The Prince then presented shirts to the 26 athletes tapped to represent England, continuing an informal tradition he’s had with the men’s team before major tournaments.

The Prince of Wales then moved to meet some rising talent from the next generation of schoolchildren. In honor of the national squad heading to UEFA EURO 2024, several schools from around the Midlands region were welcomed to St. George’s Park for a soccer festival full of friendly matches. The heir to the throne and Coach Southgate took time to tour the informal tournament and met some of the kids participating. 

Prince William meets some of the England men’s soccer squad before they head off to the European Championships in Germany.

Andrew Parsons / Kensington Palace

William is a loyal soccer follower and has been known to interrupt his children’s school breaks to comment on the biggest news in the game. A close source previously told PEOPLE that Aston Villa has particularly given him a lift as his wife, Kate Middleton, and father, King Charles, undergo treatment for cancer.

“He has been hugely buoyed by the results of Aston Villa,” the source says. “You shouldn’t overlook the importance of soccer in these moments.”

Prince William returned to public-facing royal duties in mid-April after taking a few weeks off after his wife announced on March 22 that she has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. The Princess of Wales has maintained a low profile in the months since, and her husband shared new insight with a veteran at an anniversary service commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings on June 5.

Prince William and Gareth Southgate, the England men’s soccer team head coach, at St. George’s PArk, Burton, U.K. on June 10, 2024.

Andrew Parsons / Kensington Palace

As seen in a clip circulating on social media, the veteran asked Prince William if his wife was “getting any better.”

“Yes,” Prince William said. “She’d have loved to be here today.”

Prince William at the wedding of Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, and Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral on June 7, 2024.

Samir Hussein/Samir HusseinWireImage

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On June 7, the Prince of Wales served as an usher at the wedding of his friend the Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral in northern England. The Prince of Wales helped some of the 400 guests find their place in the pews at the Gothic church as Hugh Grosvenor and Olivia Henson tied the knot in what’s considered the society wedding of the year in the U.K.

Prince William made a decidedly low-key arrival in a sprinter van for the celebration, which his cousin Princess Eugenie also attended.

Hugh Grosvenor and Olivia Henson on their wedding day at Chester Cathedral on June 7, 2024.

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

Though the 7th Duke of Westminster is a godfather to Prince George and Prince Archie, 5, neither the young royals nor Prince Harry attended the wedding. PEOPLE confirmed before the big day that the Duke of Sussex, 39, was invited to the nuptials. However, there was an acknowledgment on both sides that it would be difficult for him to attend. 

The Duke of Sussex sends “his love and support and admiration for the couple” for their wedding day, a source tells PEOPLE.

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