Prince George has become the face of England’s European Championship final heartbreak after his rollercoaster of emotions during the penalty shootout loss to Italy.
Flanked by his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the seven-year-old Royal displayed unbridled joy when the Three Lions showed signs they could bring home an elusive major trophy during the decider at London’s Wembley stadium.
Watch Prince George’s reaction to the game above
He was embraced by his father Prince William as England took the lead in the second minute thanks to Luke Shaw’s stunning finish, also showing his delight when his nation went 2-1 ahead in the shootout.
However he appeared on the verge of tears and required consoling by both his parents, as the Azzurri clinched the trophy having equalised in the 67th minute, before winning 3-2 on penalties as England’s Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka after Marcus Rashford failed to convert from the spot.
“Prince George representing the mood of everyone in England right now,” said one Twitter user.
Another tweeted: “Prince George is perhaps every England football fan right now – from sheer ecstasy of (the) Luke Shaw goal to heartbreak of watching Rashford, Sancho and Saka miss penalties!”
Other people saw the lighter side of the situation, joking George could exact revenge by overseeing “war” against Italy when he is king.
“Heartbreaking. Congratulations @Azzurri on a great victory,” William said on Twitter.
“@England, you’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day.
“You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves – I know there’s more to come.”
Heartbreaking. Congratulations @Azzurri on a great victory.
@England, you’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day. You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves — I know there’s more to come. W
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 11, 2021
Meanwhile, there have been wild celebrations in Italy, where goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has been hailed a national hero for his two saves during the shootout.
Celebrations erupted in downtown Rome as thousands of people took to the streets.
Fireworks lit the sky as cars honked non-stop and ecstatic fans waving Italian flags spilled out of the Piazza del Popolo where they had watched the match on big screens.
They chanted “we are champions of Europe,” danced in the streets and set off flares as police stood watch nearby.
The Italian players sang and danced, kissed and cried, bathed in sparkling ticker tape.
– With AAP