Will there be a bank holiday if England Lionesses win the Women’s World Cup final?

The England women’s football team will play against Spain this Sunday

Kate Ng
Sunday 20 August 2023 09:24 BST
Royal family praises Lionesses following 3-1 win against Australia_Original Video_m237688.mp4

The England women’s football team are set to face off Spain in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday (20 August), after their victory over Australia this week.

The Lionesses beat Australia’s Matilda’s 3-1 on Wednesday (16 August) during the highly anticipated Sydney match, sending fans’ hopes soaring that they might become the first England team to win a World Cup since 1966.

But the team, led by Sarina Wiegman, has already made history as they are playing in the World Cup final for the first time.

They were congratulated by the royal family, with King Charles III saying in a statement: “While your victory may have cost the magnificent Matilda’s their chance for the greatest prize in the game, both teams have been an inspiration on and off the pitch - and for that, both nations are united in pride, admiration and respect.”

The Prince of Wales, who is also the president of the Football Association, shared a personal message to both teams: “What a phenomenal performance from the Lionesses - on to the final! Commiserations to The Matilda’s, you’ve played brilliantly and been fantastic co-hosts of this World Cup. W.”

However, despite Prince William’s vested interest in football, a royal aide has confirmed that he will not be travelling to Australia to watch the final in person. Instead, like the rest of the country, it appears he will be making plans on home ground to catch the final, which kicks off at 11am.

Many have also called on the government to announce a bank holiday if the Lionesses emerge victorious again.

However, despite the hopes of thousands of people, the government has said there are “no plans” for a bank holiday if the Lionesses come out on top. There has never been an extra bank holiday to mark a sporting occasion, and it does not appear this will change any time soon.

A spokesperson for the government told the BBC: “We congratulate the Lionesses on their fantastic achievement in getting to the Women’s World Cup final.

(AFP via Getty Images)

“The current pattern of public and bank holidays is well established and there are no plans to change this.”

They added in a later statement: “Winning the World Cup would be a massive moment for the country and make no mistake we’ll find the right way to celebrate.

“As Sarina Wiegman herself has said, the first thing to do is focus on the final and the whole country will be rooting for the Lionesses this weekend.”

Of the whole of the UK, England and Wales have the fewest bank holidays with eight a year. Scotland has nine, while Northern Ireland has 10.

However, the country had an extra bank holiday this year to mark the King’s coronation in May.

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