Britain’s Prince William welcomed footballers to Buckingham Palace on Monday as the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II prepared to stage the first football match in its 308-year history.
A match between two of England’s oldest amateur teams took place in the 39-acre gardens of the famous central London landmark as part of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.
“This magnificent home, Buckingham Palace, is at the heart of the nation, and so there cannot be a more fitting setting to celebrate our national game, and to celebrate all of you,” William said in a speech welcoming the players and guests.
The queen, who is still at her summer holiday estate in Scotland and gave permission for the match to take place, sent her regrets, William said.
“The one small silver lining to Her Majesty not being present today is that there shouldn’t be any corgis running on to the pitch,” he joked, adding one warning: “If anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her.”
The game featured two amateur teams, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, playing in a Southern Amateur League match.
Check out Prince William wearing his track suit and orange soccer shoes by launching the gallery.