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Spanish queen celebrates side’s World Cup victory as British royals stay home

<i>Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>FIFA President Gianni Infantino (L) and Queen Letizia of Spain (2nd R) congratulate Spain's defender Laia Codina and forward Athenea del Castillo.
Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
FIFA President Gianni Infantino (L) and Queen Letizia of Spain (2nd R) congratulate Spain's defender Laia Codina and forward Athenea del Castillo.

By Hafsa Khalil, CNN

London (CNN) — When the Spanish women’s soccer team beat England in the Women’s World Cup final, Spain’s Queen Letizia was there to celebrate with them, while Britain’s royals – who decided to stay home – said their team were winners regardless.

Joined by her youngest daughter, 16-year-old Infanta Sofia, the Spanish royals watched the match at the Stadium Australia in Sydney from the directors’ box alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Spanish sporting officials.

“Champions! Champions! World Champions!” the Spanish royal family wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“You are the best football players in the world. This is FOOTBALL and it is HISTORY!

“Thank you, Spanish women’s football team, for making all of Spain rock.”

Ahead of the game, Letizia and Sofia spoke to Spanish media, saying the team were already “champions.”

“Regardless of what happens, they are already champions,” the Queen said, while talking about how the Spanish women’s soccer team had already worked hard and overcome obstacles.

While Sofia said she was looking forward to the match, there was something else she was anticipating more – going “to the locker room afterwards as well to congratulate the (Spanish women’s football team) no matter what happens.”

According to a statement released by the Spanish royal family, Sofia got the opportunity to visit the team’s dressing room post-match, where she and the Queen “congratulated the players and coaching staff, highlighting the brilliant performance throughout the tournament.”

William, Prince of Wales, also posted congratulations on X, where he also said the English side had done the “nation proud.”

The heir to the British throne, who is also president of England’s Football Association, has been criticized for being absent from today’s cup final despite the Lionesses playing, which he apologized for during a message of support Saturday.

Critics said it was unimaginable that he would skip the final if it was the men’s team playing but others supported William’s absence, pointing to the environmental costs of traveling.

King Charles III meanwhile offered “heartfelt thoughts and commiserations.”

“While I know how sore it must be, let none of you feel defeated, for to have reached the final at all is an immense tribute to your skill, determination and team spirit in the finest sporting tradition,” he said in a statement.

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CNN’s Benjamin Brown contributed to this report.

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