Queen praises ‘spirit, commitment and pride’ of England team in message to Gareth Southgate

Alastair Jamieson
Saturday 10 July 2021 19:29 BST
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The Queen’s letter to Gareth Southgate recalled her presentation of the World Cup to England in 1966
The Queen’s letter to Gareth Southgate recalled her presentation of the World Cup to England in 1966 (PA)

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The Queen has paid tribute to the “spirit, commitment and pride” of the England football team in a good luck message to Gareth Southgate ahead of the Euro 2020 final.

In a note to the team manager, the monarch sent her “good wishes” for Sunday’s match against Italy at Wembley Stadium.

Victory would mark the men’s football team’s first major tournament win since the 1966 World Cup success, also at Wembley.

In her written message to the team, the Queen recalled presenting the Jules Rimet trophy to Bobby Moore almost six decades ago.

She said: “Fifty-five years ago I was fortunate to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant to the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament.

“I want to send my congratulations and that of my family to you all on reaching the final of the European Championships, and send my good wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves.”

The Queen’s letter to Gareth Southgate ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final
The Queen’s letter to Gareth Southgate ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final (PA)

It comes as messages of supportwere sent to the England team from around the country.

Sunday’s game could become the most watched TV event in UK history - bringing with it a major spike in demand for electricity as fans turn the kettle on or grab a beer from the fridge.

More than 33 million people are expected to tune in at home, in the pub or even at work to cheer as the national team attempts to win a major tournament for the first time in 55 years.

The total audience figure is expected to surge past the 26.7 million seen during the semi-final against Denmark on ITV on Wednesday, which was the largest for a single TV channel.

It is also likely to top the 32.1 million viewers for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 and the record of 32.3 million for the 1966 World Cup final, which was shown on both BBC and ITV. Ladbrokes is offering 4/5 odds on a record TV audience.

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