Prince George shared the heartache of the nation last night as England narrowly missed out to Italy on European Championship glory in an agonising penalty shoot out.
With the game ending at 1-1 following extra time, the Lions were beaten 3-2 in spot kicks, leaving much of the team in tears.
Football-mad Prince William and his wife Kate, both 39, brought along their eldest son George, seven, to watch the final – and their reaction to England’s highs and lows spoke volumes about their close family dynamic.
It’s previously been claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are working hard to give their three children as ‘normal’ an upbringing as possible and ensure their eldest – who is third-in-line to the throne – receives no special treatment.
And last night provided a heartwarming insight into their warm and tactile parenting style – something that in turn reflects a more modern, relatable Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by their eldest son Prince George, seven, at Wembley last night to watch England take on Italy in the final of the European Championships – and it provided a heartwarming insight into their warm and tactile parenting style (pictured: George celebrating Luke Shaw’s goal)
The young prince was seen hugging his mother Kate when England scored, revealing his obvious love for his parents, according to a parenting expert
Georgina Durrant, author of 100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play, told FEMAIL that the Cambridges came across as a family whose life is ‘full of love and affection’.
‘In my opinion, it’s clear that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are loving, caring parents whose children are at the very centre of their lives,’ she said.
‘This was reflected by them placing Prince George in the middle of the two of them during the game. A very loving gesture that no doubt will have made Prince George feel even more confident, loved and secure.
‘Throughout the England final last night we saw both parents being tactile with Prince George – providing cuddles when he needed them and reassuring hands on his shoulders – reflecting a family life full of love and affection, which are both incredibly important for a healthy childhood.
Throughout the England final last night we saw both parents being tactile with Prince George – providing cuddles when he needed them and reassuring hands on his shoulders (left) – reflecting a family life full of love and affection
‘It was lovely to watch Prince George’s love for his parents when he was mirroring his dad clapping and cheering when England scored and when he rushed to his mum’s open arms for a cuddle.
‘When children mirror their parents’ actions it’s often because they have such love for them, think of them extremely highly and see them as their role model.’
Georgina added that William and Kate were also not afraid to show their own emotions during the game, with the Duchess putting her head in her hands at one point, which provides valuable life lessons for George.
‘Prince George was ecstatic when England scored and appeared exhausted and upset when they lost – no doubt reflecting the feelings of many other seven-year-old children across the country,’ she observed.
‘It’s wonderful to see Prince George being confident in showing his emotions, even publicly, and this is a testament to his parents who have brought him up to feel comfortable showing others when he is feeling upset.
Georgina added that William and Kate were also not afraid to show their own emotions during the game, with the Duchess putting her head in her hands at one point, which provides valuable life lessons for George
‘Bringing children up feeling secure in showing their emotions is incredibly important for mental health and wellbeing, as opposed to keeping emotions inside and putting on a brave face.
‘Children learn a lot from how their parents respond to situations and when Prince George sees his parents feeling confident in showing their emotions, both sad and happy, he will continue to grow up feeling confident himself in showing his emotions.’
She added that she ‘particularly loved’ the way Prince William placed his hands on Prince George’s shoulders when he was feeling upset.
‘This will have helped to calm him,’ she explained. ‘Physically having the gentle weight of someone’s hands on your shoulders helps to ground you. It was also a wonderful gesture to show Prince George that it’s ok to feel upset and that his father was there for him.’
Child behaviour expert and child anger management specialist Elizabeth O’Shea added that the young prince was a credit to his parents.
Child behaviour expert and child anger management specialist Elizabeth O’Shea added that the young prince was a credit to his parents last night and reflected ‘the mood of many children’ across the country
‘George reflected the mood of many children – and adults! – watching the match. It was a late night, but he behaved so well. A real credit to his parents,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘Both William and Kate were very tuned into George and his reactions. It was good to see them standing together at the end, with William comforting George by holding his shoulders.
‘I’m sure they were really proud of the performance of the England football players, for the effort they put in, just disappointed the final penalty kicks didn’t result in goals. However, as a family, they really know what it is to be under intense scrutiny and pressure!’
Royal author Phil Dampier told FEMAIL it was significant that Kate made the trip from Wimbledon to watch the game with her husband and son, and was there to console her eldest when England missed their final penalty.
‘I don’t know how much Kate knows about football but she obviously wanted to celebrate or commiserate with George whatever happened,’ he remarked.
‘She hugged George at the end and consoled him just like any other mother.
Prince William is seen explaining something to his captivated son during England’s clash against Italy
Prince George rushed into his mother’s arms for a hug to celebrate England going 1-0 up last night
‘I think William genuinely sees football as the game of the masses and how it can unite people of all ages and backgrounds. He studies the game and is friends with a lot of the players.
‘I’m sure he will encourage George and his other children to play the sport because they will enjoy it and mix with other kids.
‘As the penalties were about to be taken you could see William explaining on the fingers of his hand who he expected to take them, but Kate didn’t seem to respond much. Perhaps she just thought what would be would be.’
Phil added that the Cambridges do their best to let their children enjoy ‘simple pleasures’ despite their privileged status.
‘You can see that George was kicking every ball last night just like the rest of the nation. He looked overjoyed when England scored and thoroughly miserable when we lost on penalties at the end,’ he said.
Royal author Phil Dampier told FEMAIL it was significant that Kate made the trip from Wimbledon to watch the game with her husband and son, and was there to console her eldest when England missed their final penalty
Phil added that the Cambridges do their best to let their children enjoy ‘simple pleasures’ despite their privileged status
‘Of course he’s not like everyone else – he is the future king and had Tom Cruise and David Beckham sitting behind him! But William and Kate have tried to give their three children as normal an upbringing as possible at their Norfolk home as well as at school in London, and want them to enjoy simple pleasures.
‘Some people have said George should have worn an England shirt to watch the games, but clearly his parents thought it better for him to dress like his dad as they were in the VIP seats as William is FA President.’
Phil told how Aston Villa supporter William was keen for his son to back a team that isn’t in the top flight of the Premier League so that he could enjoy the ‘ups and downs’ of the game.
‘The older generation of royals haven’t been great football fans, but William loves it and used to play a lot. He enjoyed games with brother Harry at Sandringham at Christmas when they would play in games with estate staff,’ he said.
‘William wanted George to support a team that isn’t in the top six of the Premier League so that he would enjoy the ups and downs like any other supporter, as he does as an Aston Villa fan. But typically the son ignored the advice of his father and decided to support Chelsea!
‘So George will expect to see success, and who knows, by the time he comes to the throne we might just have won a World Cup or Euros!’