Don’t expect to see members of the England’s royal family traveling to Russia to cheer on their team in the World Cup, even if the Three Lions reach the final.
While the world’s eyes are turned to Russia for the World Cup tournament, there are many taking the opportunity to point out the human rights abuses and international aggressions carried out by Vladimir Putin’s government. That could include the royal family, as the Express reported that England’s royal family will not attend any matches in protest to Putin and his government.
“Relations between Britain and Russia have recently been at their worst since the Cold War and regardless of the progress of the England team I would not expect any Royal attendance,” said Richard Fitzwilliams, an expert on the royal family.
Even though Prince William is the president of The Football Association, reports indicate that he will not be attending any matches, and no other members of the family will either. The British government has come down hard on Putin’s brutal rule, including the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England earlier this year. Experts said attending the World Cup could be seen as legitimizing Putin’s actions.
Amid allegations that Vladimir Putin ordered Russian interference into America’s 2016 presidential election, there are new allegations that he also had Russia interfere in the Brexit vote earlier that same year. In response, Putin accused British of blaming “all their mortal sins on Russia including the Skripal poisoning and the downing of flight MH17,” the Guardian reported.
“They now blame Russia for Brexit… again, tosh. We have nothing to do with it whatsoever. This is the inner matter of the UK,” Putin said. “And I guess we can suspect that those who wanted the UK to leave the EU are Russian agents.
“If they want to worsen their relationships with Russia they can blame all their mortal sins on us and this is actually the case nowadays. Brexit, and Catalonia and the Skripal case, God knows what – and this plane again.”
While the royal family may be staying away from the World Cup as a protest against Vladimir Putin, the Three Lions could be extending their stay in Russia. England’s team is in second place in Group G and appears poised to move on to the Round of 16. A win over Panama could all but clinch a spot to the next round.