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British RoyalsCoronavirusThe Cambridges

The Duke of Cambridge hosts FA Cup celebration for key frontline workers

The Duke of Cambridge hosted a special watch party for frontline carers to mark the Heads Up FA Cup Final on Saturday.

William, who couldn’t attend the match in person and present the trophy—which he normally does as the Football Association President—instead welcomed frontline carers, local football fans and members of the Heads Up campaign to a watch party at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, where he and his family have been quarantining through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The match, which saw Arsenal defeat Chelsea, was played at an empty Wembley Stadium on Saturday, in line with government regulations on social distancing. Ahead of the match, William joked to an attendee that he thought Arsenal would win 2-1, which later ended up happening.

After Arsenal clinched the win, the team members had a slight mishap as they picked up the FA Cup trophy—it slipped when one of the players lost his grip. William joked, in a video shared to the Kensington Palace Twitter account that, “That’s why you need the president there!”

William has been engaged in a season-long mental health campaign called Heads Up, which aims to normalise the discussion of mental health among football clubs in the UK—from the top-level, elite teams all the way down to recreational leagues. Ahead of the FA Cup final, it was announced that due to this campaign, the match would be renamed the Heads Up FA Cup Final.

Ahead of the match, William spoke to footballer and England team manager Gareth Southgate about mental health on an episode of Sounds of Support about the issue.

William said, “The idea of being able to be open about your emotions and fix a problem is a positive, it’s a strength, not a weakness.”

Southgate added: “If you look at what’s important for young players, old players,  and society generally, especially with everything that’s happened over the last few months – then people’s mental health is one of our primary focuses, it will have such a big affect on our society.

“The whole world is going through a challenging period. I recognise as a manager I need to step up and make sure even more that to begin with our own players are cared for.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.