Britain's Prince William and Catherine visit Royal Liverpool University hospital in Liverpool
Britain's Prince William Reuters

The FIFA Women's World Cup has been done and dusted, with England's Lionesses crashing out in the final against Spain on Sunday. The bitter disappointment is washing all-over England, and President of the FA Prince William is facing a ton of backlash after failing to fly to Australia to support the squad.

The final was held at the Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday, but the Prince of Wales was nowhere to be seen. His absence was made even more stark in the presence of Spain's Queen Letizia and her daughter Infanta Sofia. The Spanish royals were shown several times watching the match from the VIP box, and they also played prominent roles during the awarding ceremony.

Queen Letizia was also seen jumping around and hugging the Spanish players on the pitch during the celebrations. On the contrary, Prince William only managed to send a short video message on social media on Saturday alongside his daughter, Princess Charlotte.

In the video, the 41-year-old Prince of Wales sat on a bench with daughter, who held a football on her lap. "Lionesses, we want to send you a huge good luck for tomorrow. We are sorry we cannot be there in person but we are so proud of everything you have achieved and the millions you've inspired here and around the world. So go out there tomorrow and really enjoy yourselves."

Various theories about Prince William's absence

According to some reports across the United Kingdom, Prince William the heir to the throne, could not visit Australia because his father Prince Charles, the reigning monarch, has not travelled down under since taking over as head of state in September last year.

Apparently, William is constitutionally forbidden to set foot in Australia ahead of his father. However, the palace nor the British Government have not confirmed this claim. Meanwhile, other reports are stating that the distance brought up environmental concerns.

Flying all the way to Australia for a short period would not have been a good decision in terms of the environmental impact. The public, however, see all of these points as mere excuses.

According to The Sun, former England goalkeeper Pauline Cope was hesitant to slam the royal family, but she had to admit that she was also disappointed. "This should have been pencilled in his diary from day dot, after we won the Euros and qualified for the World Cup," she said.

Prince William is currently on a two-month long summer break with his family, and there are no known public engagements booked for him in the weeks surrounding the event.

Social media exploded with reactions from all over the world, as millions of fans started to wonder where the FA president was during one of the most important moments of English football history.

"If Prince Williamhad taken his daughter Charlotte to the @Lionesses World Cup final today, it would have been a huge PR triumph for the monarchy. Instead, by staying at home and watching the match on tv, the future king just looks lazy, disinterested and anti-women. Big mistake," said one social media user, while another added: "It really is absolutely wild that Prince William - the whole President of the English Football Association - is skipping a World Cup final where England is competing. Just unreal."

Other important personalities snub the Lionesses

Apart from Prince William, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was also nowhere to be found. England men's football team manager Gareth Southgate did not bother to fly in either. Cope pointed out the harsh reality that if England had made it to the men's World Cup final, all of those men would have been present, plus many more.

Journalist Piers Morgan, a well-known supported of the British royals, could not defend them this time. Even he had to voice out his criticism. "With respect, YRH (Your Royal Highness), you should have got on a plane. Ridiculous that the Queen of Spain is attending the World Cup Final to support her nation's team, and you won't be there despite being President of the FA."

Following the 1-0 loss to Spain, Prince William again took to social media to send a message to the brokenhearted Lionesses. "Although it's the result none of us wanted, @Lionesses you have done yourselves and this nation proud. Your spirit & drive have inspired so many people and paved the way for generations to come. Thank you for the footballing memories," he said before congratulating Spain.