England has won the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – and now England side captain Leah Williamson reveals what the Duke of Cambridge said to her when she shared an embrace with His Royal Highness during the trophy presentation.
Arsenal defender Williamson, like much of the England side, kept mistakes to a minimum, giving us a strong display at the back against Germany at Wembley this weekend, whilst goals from Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly secured the trophy.
Prince William – in his role as President of the Football Association – was part of the group of officials who congratulated and awarded medals to England’s Lionesses on their way to collect the trophy.
Most of the players got the standard handshake and words of congratulations, but a few players got an unexpected hug from the royal. Among the few was captain Williamson, who shared a touching moment with the ecstatic Prince William.
What a night! Just brilliant 👏🏆 https://t.co/ynm378CvAW— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) August 1, 2022
The Duke and Leah Williamson spoke for a few seconds, His Royal Highness pulled England’s skipper in for a hug, visibly happy for the victory – later giving the team a hearty round of applause as they lifted the trophy.
When later asked about the interaction, Leah revealed: ‘I think I went to shake his hand and he said, “Leah, bring it in” and I said, “Thank you sir”. He was like, “I’m very proud of you all”.’
England’s skipper seemed thrilled to receive a heartfelt message of congratulations from the Royal Family and Her Majesty the Queen, adding: ‘I’m a big fan of the royal family so it means a lot.’
The game – which ended in a 2-1 victory for England – is the most-watched programme of 2022 so far, amassing 17.4 million people watching the match on BBC One and a record crowd of 87,192 spectators at Wembley.
Leah Williamson believes that this victory for England will go far beyond the pitch and have a large impact on the perception of women’s football and women’s sport at large.
‘The legacy of this tournament is a change in society. We’ve brought people together and got people to this game,’ said England’s skipper in her passionate speech after the match.
‘The legacy of this team is winning and this is the start of the journey. I just can’t stop crying. We talked and we talked and we’ve finally done it.’
‘It’s the proudest moment of my life until the day I have kids I suppose. I’m going to lap it up. I want to relive it over and over and I’ll be reliving it for a long time,’ said the 25-year-old.