The Queen has led a jubilant nation in congratulating England’s Lionesses after they ended half a century of hurt by winning the nation’s first major football trophy since 1966.
Within minutes of the Women’s Euros win the monarch said captain Leah Williamson and her players had “rightly won praise” for their win but that their success “goes far beyond the trophy” they won for beating Germany 2-1.
She praised them for setting “an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations”.
Up in the royal box at the game, the Duke of Cambridge leapt to his feet at the win and was there to congratulate the players.
And, it seems he may have helped bring the team luck, hours earlier posting a video message with daughter Princess Charlotte, seven, wishing the team “good luck”.
The Queen presented England’s only previous major football trophy – the men’s World Cup – to captain Bobby Moore at the old Wembley in 1966.
On Monday morning (Perth time), the 87,192-strong crowd at the new Wembley smashed the record for a men’s or women’s Euros final.
As many as 15 million were watching around the UK on television – another record for women’s football, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his children.
He said: “Football has come home! A stunning victory. Huge congratulations to [manager Sarina Wiegman]Leah and the whole team.”
David Baddiel, whose “It’s Coming Home!” lyric from 1996 football anthem Three Lions, echoed around Wembley, also praised the team.
The comedian tweeted: “Home. In fact it’s come home. A sentence I thought I’d never write. I’ve gone. Thank you Lionesses.”
The Spice Girls paid tribute to the “true girl power” of the Lionesses and men’s England captain Harry Kane hailed the “absolutely unreal scenes”.
FA head of women’s football, Baroness Sue Campbell, said she was confident the win would have a legacy for women’s and girls’ football.
“I hope it’s spreading wonderful feelings of hope and happiness to the whole nation,” she added.