Prince William endures 'a few sleepless nights' thanks to baby Charlotte
Published 20/05/2015 | 13:57
Princess Charlotte has been giving the Duke of Cambridge "a few sleepless nights", he has told England Women's World Cup squad. William met the team at the National Football Centre today, before they jet off on Monday to start their campaign in Canada.
Steph Houghton, who captains the side, said the Duke told them about life with new arrival Charlotte, and older sibling Prince George.
She said: "He said George is very lively, and Princess Charlotte has been keeping him up all night, giving him a few sleepless nights.
"But he said he was just happy to have them both here."
William, who is president of the Football Association, met the Lionesses' head coach, Mark Sampson, and the senior women's squad at St George's Park in Staffordshire.
In a lighter moment, Aston Villa fan William quipped that he might be facing "a bad day" after the FA Cup final is played at Wembley on May 30, with Villa playing Arsenal for the trophy.
As FA president he will be responsible for handing the cup to the winning side's captain.
He said: "It's either going to be a very good day for me, or a very bad day."
The Duke then posed for an informal photo with the women's squad in their dressing room but, asked if anyone should say "Cheese", he replied "No, I think 'Number one' would be more appropriate."
Sending the team off to the World Cup, Mr Sampson then gave a rousing address to his players, saying they were "an inspiration" to their generation of women and those to come.
Thanking William for his support, he added: "It's a big moment for us. It speaks volumes about where the women's game is - the support we are getting."
The Duke replied: "The World Cup is a great platform to raise yourselves to the next level. It will all be televised, so we can see how you're doing back home."
He added that he would "come back" to see the squad when they return.
Earlier, arriving back at the venue he first opened with the Duchess of Cambridge in 2012, William was greeted by the park's managing director, Julie Harrington, and chairman, David Sheepshanks.
He signed his autograph on a wall of footballing greats near the entrance, which includes World Cup 1966 winners Geoff Hurst and David Beckham, confessing that his moniker seemed "minute" by comparison.
William also met a group of players from Derby who were taking part in a Homeless FA course, run under the umbrella of charity Centrepoint, of which he is patron.
They invited him to join their kick-about, but William - wearing a blue suit and red and navy tie - offered his apologies, saying "I'll bring some more suitable attire next time."
The Duke asked the group whether they were all Derby County supporters, which most were, with just a couple of dissenters, including one Chelsea fan.
On hearing that, William joked: "Oh, we don't like him now then."
Another player then quipped: "It could be worse - he could be a (Nottingham) Forest supporter."
Asking if any of their number would be watching the Women's World Cup, William praised the female players' goal-scoring skills and said "they could teach the boys how to play - that's exactly what'll happen".
During the visit, the Duke, the FA's president since 2006, was to pose for an official photograph with the women's squad on one of the site's modern indoor artificial football pitches.
Ms Houghton said William's visit was a boost and "makes us feel the whole country is behind us, and we really appreciate that".
Team-mate Jill Scott said it was the third time she had met William and he remembered that she had fouled him on the first occasion back in Newcastle, eight years ago.
"He's a normal guy and just wants to have normal conversations," she said.
Ms Scott added: "He said he's had a few sleepless nights with Charlotte, which also reflects he does have a normal life away from his duties as Prince."
England Women fly out to Canada next week, ahead of a pre-tournament friendly against the host nation and group matches against France, Mexico and Colombia.