Queen hails England’s Euro 2022 win as ‘inspiration for girls and women’

Queen hails England’s Euro 2022 win as ‘inspiration for girls and women’
England’s Chloe Kelly celebrates scoring their second goal (PA)
PA Wire/PA Images - Jonathan Brady

The Queen has hailed the Lionesses’ historic Euro 2022 win as “an inspiration for girls and women” across the nation.

England won the European Women’s Football Championships as they were cheered on by an 87,000-strong crowd at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The Duke of Cambridge was among those supporting from the sidelines, and after the match he said it had been “wonderful to see history in the making”, while captain Leah Williamson dubbed it “the proudest moment of my life”.

The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra time, securing the first major tournament title for any England team since 1966.

England v GermanyEngland’s Leah Williamson, Millie Bright and Rachel Daly celebrate (Joe Giddens/PA).PA Wire/PA Images - Joe Giddens

Following their triumph, the Queen praised the team, saying their “success goes far beyond the trophy”.

She said in a statement: “My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Football Championships.

“It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff.

“The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise.

“However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned.

“You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.

“It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”

William also congratulated the team, tweeting: “Sensational.

“An incredible win @lionesses and the whole nation couldn’t be prouder of you all.

“Wonderful to see history in the making tonight at Wembley, congratulations! W.”

England v GermanyA capacity crowd during the final at Wembley (Joe Giddens/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Joe Giddens

Williamson said she could not stop crying after the win.

She told BBC One: “Something like this, we talk and we talk and we talk and we finally did it. It’s about doing it on the pitch and I’ll tell you what, the kids are all right.

“It is the proudest moment of my life until the day I have kids, I suppose. I am taking everything in, every piece of advice was take every single second in so I can relive it forever. I’ll be reliving that for a long time.”

England are also expected to have made history with the biggest home TV audience on record for a women’s football game.

The record of nine million was set during England’s semi-final defeat by the US in the 2019 World Cup, according to ratings organisation Barb.

Those in the crowd at Wembley included the men’s captain Harry Kane and Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who watched the match from home with his children Wilfred and Romy, praised the team on their “stunning” victory.

He said in a tweet: “Football has come home! A stunning victory by the @Lionesses.

“Huge congratulations to Sarina, Leah and the whole team.

“Football pitches across the country will be filled as never before by girls and women inspired by your triumph.”

Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak tweeted a photograph of himself cheering on the team and said the Lionesses had “won the hearts” of the country.

The former chancellor wrote: “Huge congratulations to the @Lionesses on their Euros win.

“They haven’t just won the tournament they’ve won the hearts of the whole country.

“What a great day to be an England fan.”

Hundreds of fans cheered the players on from Trafalgar Square in central London, and the team will commemorate the win with a celebration in the square on Monday.

Up to 7,000 people can join the celebration at a live music event involving a Q&A with the players and their manager Sarina Wiegman.

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