The Buckingham Palace gardens transformed into an soccer field on Monday, with Prince William hosting the palace's first match to celebrate the Football Association's 150th anniversary. As the president of the association, William also marked the occasion by recognizing 150 grassroots volunteers for their contributions to the game, awarding them with medals in a ceremony before the match. Speaking to the crowd, he joked about the queen's gardens, saying, "Later today we will be playing football on my grandmother's lawn . . . If anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her."
The game was played between Civil Service and Polytechnic, the sole surviving club since the association started in 1863. During the match, Prince William changed from his dress suit into a tracksuit, showing off his skills and training with some of the players. Meanwhile, the teams received royal treatment, with footmen in tailcoats carrying out oranges and drinks for the players at halftime. At the event, William spoke about how much he loves the game, saying, "Football, in particular being a Villa supporter, has brought me a great deal of pleasure over the years. A chance to escape with friends and family and enjoy its virtues — teamwork, competition, endeavor and, more occasionally on my part, skill." Take a look at all the pictures from the royal match!