The Duke of Cambridge said the “entire country is so proud” of the England women’s national football team after their 4-0 semi-final victory over Sweden booked them a place in the Euro 2022 final.
Goals from Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo and Fran Kirby means they will play at a sold-out Wembley Stadium on Sunday, while 7,000 fans will also celebrate in an expanded Trafalgar Square fan zone.
The opponent will be decided on Wednesday night when France and Germany fight it out for the slot at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes.
William, president of the Football Association (FA), shared words of encouragement after the Lionesses beat Sweden, the highest-ranked team in the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 competition, on Tuesday.
Posting from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s @KensingtonRoyal Twitter account, William said: “Congratulations @Lionesses on making it to the #WEURO2022 final on Sunday.
“The entire country is so proud of everything you’re achieving. We believe in you and will be with you all the way! W.”
Gary Lineker was full of praise for England’s “wonderful” victory, calling it a “fabulous performance and win for @Lionesses”.
Wayne Rooney shared his pride, tweeting: “What a performance by @Lionesses tonight. A well deserved #WEURO2022 final coming up. Congratulations to all the players and staff.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also congratulated manager Sarina Wiegman’s team for its historic feat, tweeting a Union Jack flag emoji and adding: “On to Wembley!
“A fantastic result for captain @leahcwilliamson and the @Lionesses tonight against Sweden.
“Come on England, bring it home.”
Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, tweeted: “Unbelievable. What a match. These England women are just incredible.
“Bring on Sunday! #ItsComingHome”
Fans celebrated in Trafalgar Square after the final whistle on Tuesday night, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the final would see an increased fan zone provided.
Free access will be provided for 7,000 fans on Sunday, 2,000 more than the semi-final’s screening capacity.
“The atmosphere at tonight’s fan party screening was electric and England is now within touching distance of the trophy. I’m so excited to once again bring Londoners and visitors together at Trafalgar Square this Sunday to help cheer the Lionesses to victory,” Mr Khan said.
Sam Duce, 24, who lives in London and works in telecoms, watched the semi-final at Trafalgar and said: “It was great to see some long overdue support for the women’s team.”
Claudia Bruce, 24, from Leicester, said the victory was “huge”, adding that “women’s football has never been more supported”.
Alice Potts, 24, from Leicester, added: “Russo’s backheel goal was phenomenal.”
Mark Cording, 37, from Edgware, north London, said the semi-final victory was “absolutely fantastic”, adding: “It’s a dream come true to see the girls get through to the final.”
He told the PA news agency: “Whoever gets to the final, Germany or France – probably Germany, they need to play their best.
“I wish them all the best of luck on Sunday and I’m behind them left, right and centre.”
England’s victory at Bramall Lane was greeted with choruses of “football’s coming home” in Sheffield city centre.
Up to 2,000 fans also gathered on the city’s Devonshire Green to watch the goal count mount on a giant screen.
Jamie Ferreday, 27, from Chesterfield, said: “I think it’s the best England win in a century to be honest.
“I think it’s genuinely coming home. We beat Sweden – the best team in the tournament. Who have we got to fear now?
“I didn’t think it would be this good. England normally make us sweat.”
Ali Parkin, 19, from Sheffield, said it was all just too much.
“I can’t cope,” Ms Parkin said.
“I thought we’d win, but maybe by a single goal in extra time – but not this. I cannot believe it.”