Prince William May Leave Harry’s Royal Wedding Early For Official Soccer Business

Rui VieiraAP Images

The list of attendees for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be facing yet another shakeup. Prince William, the brother of the groom and the best man, has a bit of a conflict on Harry’s big day. In addition to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s noon wedding, the future king of England is expected to attend the country’s Football Association Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea in an official capacity on Saturday, according to Yahoo Sports.

Prince William has been the FA president since 2006, and each year the FA president is expected to attend the final game at Wembley Stadium and present the trophy to the winner. The FA Cup final is an extremely important sporting event in England (think Super Bowl level), and the president’s duties are a longstanding and important tradition.

While there is no chance that Prince William will skip his brother’s wedding, there is a chance he could skip out for a portion of the festivities. The royal wedding starts at 12:00 p.m. noon in England, while kickoff for the 137th FA Cup final is at 5:30 p.m. It is possible that Prince William will attend the wedding and the lunchtime reception at Windsor Castle, and then take a quick 20-mile helicopter ride to Wembley to present the trophy to the winning soccer team later in the day. William would just need to be back in time for Harry and Meghan’s evening dinner reception hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House.

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According to The Sun, a Kensington Palace spokesperson previously said the timing of the royal wedding and the FA cup final “will not clash,” while a rep for the Football Association said, “May 19 promises to be a wonderful day with such a special royal occasion being followed by English football’s showpiece.”

An insider told the Daily Express that Prince William plans to skip out between “halves” of the wedding for the FA Cup presentation. The source said,

“The plan is for Prince William to be there. Because the couple are getting married at noon and then not reconvening until later in the evening, there is time for William to make the 5.30pm kickoff. He can then present the trophy before returning to Windsor, probably by helicopter to ensure that he doesn’t miss anything. As far as the FA is concerned, he’s going to be at the FA Cup final.”

But in March, ITV News reported that Prince William plans to put his family obligations ahead of his Football Association duties on May 19. While he may have initially considered trying to attend both events, the FA Cup Final may run into extra time, so the Duke of Cambridge reportedly made the decision to skip the soccer ceremony altogether. Still, the Football Association has yet to name a replacement for Prince William, so this could be a game-day decision after all.

News of Prince William’s conflict comes as Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas, has announced that he will be skipping his daughter’s wedding altogether due to surgery ended following his recent heart attack.