Prince Charles praised England coach Fabio Capello today as a recent example of Italian influence in Britain.
The prince, on a visit to Italy, was reviewing cases where the history between the two countries has been linked, from Julius Caesar landing in England to Shakespeare setting some of his works in Italy.
"A more recent example of the British drawing on Italian inspiration is on the football pitch, where the record of England under Fabio Capello suggests it just might be one of the most successful collaborations yet," Charles said during a speech to lawmakers and other VIPs in Rome largely devoted to climate change.
Under Capello's command, England has won their first five World Cup qualifying matches, while under the previous coach the team failed to qualify for last year's European Championship.
But Charles noted that England is giving something back - David Beckham, who has been making an impact since joining AC Milan in January.
"And again, to prove trade is a two-way relationship, I understand that one of our own footballers has been making quite a good impression in Milan this year," Charles joked.