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Mystery over Prince William's low-key visit to Aston Villa football club revealed

The Prince of Wales is a big Villa fan

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Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
17 March 2023
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The Prince of Wales is a huge football fan and appeared to be in his element with his latest outing.

Prince William, 40, enjoyed a low-key trip to Aston Villa's training ground, Bodymoor Heath, on Thursday. The royal has previously visited the club back in 2021, take a look back at highlights...

WATCH: Prince William visits beloved football club

The visit was revealed in photos shared on the team's Instagram account, showing the future King with Villa's manager, Unai Emery, as well as the Women's team head coach, Carla Ward.

The club simply captioned the post: "Up the Villa!" and William and Kate reshared the images on their own social media. But the Prince's unannounced engagement was not recorded on the Court Circular.

William is a long-time Aston Villa supporter, but what was the reason for the mystery visit?

NEWS: Prince William admits Princess Diana would be 'disappointed' in candid new comments

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William visited Villa's training ground

In a statement on Aston Villa's website, the club revealed: "Aston Villa received a special visit from The Prince of Wales at Bodymoor Heath today.

"His Royal Highness met with CEO Christian Purslow, Head Coach Unai Emery, his coaching staff and the men's first-team squad.

"Prince William also sat down with Villa Women Manager Carla Ward and spent time with the club's Academy as he watched our youngsters in training before casting his eye over the first team."

The Prince has previously explained why he supports Aston Villa, despite not being from the Midlands, telling Gary Lineker in 2015 that the decision dates back to his childhood.

He revealed: "A long time ago at school I got into football big time. I was looking around for clubs. All my friends at school were either Man United fans or Chelsea fans and I didn’t want to follow the run of the mill teams. I wanted to have a team that was more mid-table that could give me more emotional rollercoaster moments."

Cambridges at Norwich City vs Aston Villa, 2019© Photo: Getty Images

George and Charlotte's first Villa match in 2019

In 2019, William brought his eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, to watch Villa's away match against Norwich City. Despite his team's 5-1 victory, the Prince was noticeably subdued in the stands, while George celebrated enthusiastically.

Speaking in the 2020 BBC documentary, Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health, the father-of-three said he "enjoyed a good weekend of football," during a meeting with the heads of the Football Association, the English Football League and the Premier League at Kensington Palace.

When one commented on the then-Cambridges celebrating Aston Villa's win, William added: "I wasn't celebrating, that was the problem, I was sitting with the home fans. George did my bit of celebrating for me."

LISTEN: What Prince William and Kate are really like behind the scenes

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