Queen Letizia and Infanta Sofía went to the Sydney stadium this Sunday to see the final of the Women’s World Cup that the Spanish team plays against England. The Casa Real wanted to accompany the 11 players who, game after game, have returned the national illusion thanks to their qualification for the grand final. Princess Leonor, however, has not been able to attend after her admission, on Thursday, to the General Military Academy of Zaragoza. Neither has King Felipe VI attended, who begins the round of consultations for the investiture in Madrid on Monday.
A few minutes before the match began, the Queen and her young daughter spoke to the RTVE cameras: “It is a joy and it is exciting to be here today, in Sydney, to support and accompany the players and the entire coaching staff in a final that is making the whole of Spain vibrate”, said Doña Letizia visibly moved. “I believe that on our side is the ability to overcome obstacles, work, effort, the desire to win and hopefully luck will also be with us… but regardless of what happens, they are already champions”, has added. For her part, the Infanta Sofía added that she is “looking forward” to the start of the game and “above all, going to the locker room afterwards to congratulate them no matter what.”
Half the world has crossed to be in this final, but HM Queen Letizia and HRH the Infanta Sofía did not want to miss this great final. #MundialRTVE
“It’s a joy, we wanted to support the players in a final that is making all of Spain vibrate.” pic.twitter.com/XfzKE5IzUQ
– Teledeporte (@teledeporte) August 20, 2023
It is not the first time that the Queen and the Infanta Sofía show their support for the Spanish soccer team. Doña Letizia has always supported women’s football, although in the past she has been blamed for various absences in key matches. In 2019, he made history by awarding the Copa de la Reina, the first time a member of the Royal Family had done so, despite the fact that this competition has been held since 1983. In June, he visited the Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas to bid farewell and wish the team luck as they prepared before they left for Australia and New Zealand. The Queen assured them on that occasion that they would take “to those lands so far away the affection of an entire country.” He was not wrong: “I know that you are aware of the expectation that you generate and the illusion that I hope you feel from so many people who support you, encourage you and love you,” he said, and encouraged the players to do what they knew best to do, “which is to play soccer. To football, without labels”. Doña Letizia was presented with a shirt with her name and a captain’s bracelet that, smiling, she did not hesitate to put on. She also chatted animatedly with the players.
Queen Letizia and Infanta Sofía, in front of the RTVE cameras, showing their support for the national team.
For her part, the Infanta Sofía is a great fan of football, a sport she has practiced, and this same year she accompanied the king in the Cup final held in Seville. Along with her sister, Princess Leonor, she also attended a match of the Spanish team in the Eurocup held last year in England, at the Brentford Community stadium, where the Spanish players reached the quarterfinals after defeating to Denmark. It was the first trip abroad that they made on behalf of the Royal Family without her parents. Both were accompanied in the box by the Minister of Culture and Sport, Miquel Iceta, and the President of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales. With the latter they could be seen chatting animatedly during the game. At the end of the match, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía went down to the changing rooms to congratulate the soccer players. They could be seen posing for some photos and distributing hugs and congratulations, in a relaxed attitude. The selection, for its part, gave the sisters two shirts with their name printed and the number 10. Both posed smiling with their gifts in a photo that the Casa del Rey disseminated on social networks.
Queen Letizia in the company of FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, at the Sydney stadium minutes before the start of the women’s World Cup final. JAIMI JOY (REUTERS)
There has not been, however, representation by the British royal house. A fact that has aroused some criticism and that practically forced Prince William of England, president of the English Football Association (FA), to apologize on social networks. In the video, the successor to the British crown appeared sitting on a garden bench with his eight-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte. “Lionesses” (lionesses, in Spanish), begins by saying William of England, referring to the name by which the team is called; “I want to send you the best of luck for tomorrow, we’re sorry we can’t be there in person, but we’re so proud of all you’ve accomplished and the millions of people you’ve inspired here and around the world.” A smiling Carlota, with a soccer ball in her hands, adds: “Good luck, lionesses.”
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