prince harry

Why Prince Harry missed England's big World Cup game

England beat Colombia during their World Cup match on Tuesday

Sharnaz Shahid

The Duke of Sussex was forced to miss England's momentous World Cup match to celebrate the achievements of a friend who completed an epic fundraising bike ride on Tuesday. Prince Harry, 33, joined other guests at the Wheels Down Ball to mark Dean Stott's gruelling 13,670-mile cycle trip from the tip of South America to the most northerly part of North America. The glamourous event fell on the same night as England progressed past Colombia in the knock-out stages of the World Cup, which are being held in Russia.

Prince Harry missed England's World Cup game against Colombia on Tuesday

Harry, who is known to prefer rugby over football, and the guests enjoyed dinner at the London Hilton hotel on Park Lane before a party was staged. Dean, a former special forces soldier, raised just over £500,000 for the Prince's Heads Together campaign, which has been trying to encourage the nation to talk about mental health. He broke two world records during his cycle ride, becoming the fastest man to travel 13,670 miles along the Pan American Highway from Argentina to Alaska, finishing in 99 days and smashing the previous record by 18 days.

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Dean, who has known Harry for more than ten years after they met during military training, completed his gruelling task in time to take his place with other guests at Harry's wedding in May. Meanwhile, just moments after the big football game, Prince William took to Twitter to send a rare message to the England team for their success. He wrote: "I couldn’t be prouder of @england - a victory in a penalty shootout! You have well and truly earned your place in the final eight of the #worldcup and you should know the whole country is right behind you for Saturday! Come on England! W." England will now play Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

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