Will Prince William attend the World Cup in Qatar?
Over the past few months, Prince William has been highly visible in his role as President of the Football Association, whether congratulating the Lionesses on the pitch after their Euro 2022 victory in July or visiting the England’s national football center in October as the men’s team prepared to compete in the World Cup. However, today it emerged that the Prince of Wales has no intention of attending the World Cup to cheer on the team in person, although he could still go if England do made it to the final stages of the tournament.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson today said it was ‘not planned’ for William to attend and it was never part of his itinerary due to a ‘busy winter schedule “. However, an aide also indicated that if the England squad progress to the final stages, things could perhaps be moved around for the prince to attend. The tournament runs from November 20 to December 18 and William plans to travel to the United States for part of that time to host his Earthshot prize on December 2.
The prince did not attend the World Cup in Russia in 2018 or Brazil in 2014, so this is by no means the first time he has missed the tournament since becoming FA president in 2006. However, his presence always had the potential to spark discussion. as Qatar is seen by many as a controversial choice of venue for the tournament. The country’s treatment of LGBT+ people and mistreatment of migrants working at the World Cup stadium raise human rights concerns. The focus on William’s participation in the sporting event began after The sun newspaper ran a front page today saying the prince would not go to Qatar.
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Advice from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office to those considering traveling to Qatar for the tournament warns people that “the country’s laws and customs are very different from those in the UK.” “Be aware of your actions to make sure they don’t offend. There can be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK, such as importing certain goods. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, as is living together if you are not married.
However, the notice also points out that “the host authorities have declared that ‘everyone is welcome’ at the World Cup. They have publicly confirmed that there will be no restrictions on friends or unmarried couples (including LGBT people) staying in the same room.
City & Country Editor Victoria Murphy has reported on the British royal family since 2010. She has interviewed Prince Harry and traveled the world covering several royal tours. She was there DailyMirrorRoyal correspondent for and frequent contributor to Good Morning America.