Prince William keeps his 'parenting promise' but faces backlash from fans over this missing detail

The Prince of Wales has been criticised over his video with daughter Princess Charlotte

Prince William sat on a bench main image and drop in of Prince William and Princess Charlotte's video message to Lionesses
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William made his family a priority by not jetting to Australia to watch the Women's World Cup Final, but he's received backlash from fans for not including sons Prince George and Prince Louis in his supportive video message.

The Prince of Wales and his daughter Princess Charlotte, eight, recorded a personal message to the Women's England squad ahead of their World Cup final against Spain at the weekend.

The Lionesses, which include goalkeeper Mary Earps, were Down Under for their crucial match with manager Sarina Weigman at the helm of the team. 

The Prince of Wales' decision to stay at home came under scrutiny from some, and others are concerned that he failed to show that boys too should get behind women's sport.

For anyone who didn't see the sweet video message, understood to have been filmed in the garden of their Adelaide Cottage home, William sent the following message to the England team, "Lionesses, I want to send you a huge good luck for tomorrow. We're sorry we can't be there in person. But we're so proud of everything you've achieved and the millions you've inspired here and around the world. So go out there tomorrow and really enjoy yourselves."

Princess Charlotte added, "Good luck Lionesses."

But aside from England losing 1-0 to Spain in the final, many royal and football fans were disappointed William's sons Prince George, 10 and Prince Louis, five, were not included in the pre-match support video - to highlight how both boys and girls can support women's football.

One fan wrote, "Wish the boys had been in this video too. Boys can support girls football."

Another fan put, "Big big blunder this. Totally missed the mark. Prince of Wales should have gone and all his children should be in the video."

A third fan added, "I think it is terrible that you didn’t go and support the women in the World Cup final. Surely if it was the English men in the World Cup final you would have gone. And to only have your daughter present in this message sending a strong signal that women’s sport is for only daughters to support ? Why is it not important to your sons. This is continuing everyday sexism for women's sport."

However, it's likely that Prince William chose to remain with his children to spend quality time with them during the school holidays, rather than increase his carbon footprint by flying across the world to watch the match.

One fan tweeted, "They and other dignitaries are being criticised for not going to the match in person. But if they had gone they'd be criticiced for air pollution. They can't win."

A decision which is expected to have been influenced by both his and Kate Middleton's parenting style, in which their children's schooling was reported to change the way they take on royal life.

In 2020 a royal courtier is claimed to have said of Prince William to royal journalist Katie Nicholl, "There is No Negotiation when it comes to his family. They are his priority at the moment & that is the end of it."

And one fan has supported his decision to remain at home. They tweeted, "He truly has proven through this week that being a present father & husband will always take precedence. I hope his children grow to realise how blessed they are to have a father who will withstand backlash & abuse just to spend time with them."

As part of what Prince William does for a living, is he is president of the FA, while supporting Aston Villa personally, is role in the FA is much bigger. FA chief Mark Bullingham said earlier in the week, "We've always known he wouldn't be able to attend, sadly, due to his diary.

"He has been a brilliant supporter of the team throughout. He came to see the team before we left and he's been sending messages of support throughout."

Prince William also expressed his support for the team, despite the score. He tweeted the Lionesses, "Although it’s the result none of us wanted, you have done yourselves and this nation proud. Your spirit & drive have inspired so many people and paved the way for generations to come. Thank you for the footballing memories. Congratulations to Spain. W."

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)