Prince William to host breakfast for England women's football team

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Prince William will throw open the doors to Kensington Palace on Thursday morning, to host a breakfast for the England Women's football team – also known as the Lionesses – and their head coach Mark Sampson.

The Duke of Cambridge, who has closely followed the team's progress during the recent FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, will take the opportunity to congratulate the female players in person.

The squad returned to the UK last week after finishing third – the best ever result for an England senior football team overseas.

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Prince William will be hosting a breakfast for the women's national football team

"I hope they will be proud of what they have achieved," said William at the time. "They have inspired thousands of girls and boys around the country and entered history as one of England's great teams."

After Thursday's breakfast, the players will meet local schoolchildren at the Royal Household Club pitch. The youngsters are taking part in the FA Skills Programme, a scheme run in schools which gives students the opportunity to play football.

This is not the first time that William, who is president of the FA, has spent time with the Lionesses. The Queen's grandson met the athletes just a few days before they set off for Canada to compete in the World Cup, during an engagement at St George's Park in Staffordshire.

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The Duke met the players in May, when he was presented with a gift for baby Princess Charlotte

The girls were no doubt keen to ask after newborn baby Princess Charlotte, who William and his wife Kate had welcomed three weeks prior. To celebrate the royal family's new arrival, the team also presented William with a personalised football shirt that had Charlotte's name and the number one emblazoned across the back.

"He was saying he's obviously really enjoying being a father and Princess Charlotte is actually keeping him up," team captain Steph Houghton told reporters. "He was saying George never stops moving!"

Fellow player Jill Scott added: "He said he'd had a few sleepless nights. The baby will be up and George is running around now isn't he? It reflects that he does have a normal life away from his duty as a prince."

William and Kate welcomed their daughter – whose full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana – on Saturday 2 May in London.

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