Ahead of his visit to India and Bhutan with his wife, the Duke of Cambridge will attend a celebratory lunch at Wembley Stadium on April 6, to mark the 10th anniversary of his appointment as President of the English Football Association.
The Football Association, known simply as the FA, was formed in 1863 by Ebenezer Morley, a London solicitor who is often referred to as the ‘father’ of the Association. The FA is the governing body of football in England, and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the game in its territory. The Association currently runs 24 teams across men’s, women’s, youth and disability football, and reinvests more than £100 million into the game each year. The FA is based at Wembley Stadium in London.
The first President of the FA was Arthur Pember, a British journalist and amateur footballer. Since 1939, the position has been held by a member of the royal family, starting with the Earl of Athlone, a cousin of King George V. The post has also been held by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and the Duke of York, who was President from 2000 to 2006, before passing the mantle onto his nephew, Prince William.
The Prince will attend a short reception, where he will be joined by FA staff, supporters and volunteers who he has worked with over the past decade. This will be followed by a lunch, and the event will end with a speech by the Duke, reflecting on some of the Association’s key moments and looking forward to its future.
In the past, Prince William has supported a number of projects with the FA, including Homeless FA, a part of Centrepoint, the youth charity of which William is Patron. His Royal Highness has presented the FA cup as President on numerous occasions, and hosted a football match at Buckingham Palace in 2013 to mark the Association’s 150th anniversary.