The Queen has sent a personal message to England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the Euro 2020 final, praising his team’s “spirit, commitment and pride”, as she recalled her memories of their last major tournament victory 55 years ago.
In a note addressed to Southgate, the monarch congratulated the England manager and his players for reaching the final against Italy, which will be played in front of 65,000 fans at Wembley on Sunday.
Victory at the Euros would be the Three Lions’ first major trophy since their famous 1966 World Cup win, when the Queen presented the trophy to then-England captain Bobby Moore.
The Queen told Southgate: “Fifty-five years ago I was fortunate to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant to the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament.
“I want to send my congratulations and that of my family to you all on reaching the final of the European Championships, and send my good wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves.”
The Queen’s message comes after Harry Kane revealed that support for the team has come from many different quarters – including Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise.
The England striker said the Mission: Impossible actor called the players on FaceTime to wish them luck before Sunday’s final.
Kane told BBC Radio 5Live: “I think he was over here in the UK and he just dialled in and FaceTimed us just to wish us the best as a group, so that was nice of him.
“I’m not sure if he will be there at the final or not, but football is such a big part of the world and it’s nice to have that support from all different types of businesses, I guess.”
Ahead of the final, Southgate made an appeal to England’s wartime spirit, urging supporters to be proud of the country’s achievements both on and off the pitch.
The England manager, who received an OBE from Prince Charles in 2019, said the nation has “so much to be proud of” and urged fans to stop “looking at the negatives of our own country”.
He stressed the wider significance of the game, with the England team uniting the country as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, encouraging diversity and taking a stand against racism.
“I think these are historic things that we can be proud of,” Southgate said.
“It’s a wonderful privilege to be able to make a difference.”
Southgate also said he believed the “Blitz spirit” was partially behind England’s win against Germany in their last-16 match.
“People have tried to invade us and we’ve had the courage to hold that back,” he added.
“You can’t hide that energy in the stadium against Germany was because of that. I never mentioned that to the players, but I know that’s part of what the story was.”
The Euro 2020 final between England and Italy kicks off at 8pm on Sunday.