The Queen led tributes to England’s Euro 2022 winners after Sarina Wiegman led the Lionesses to a momentous 2-1 victory over Germany at Wembley.
It gave England’s women a breakthrough moment and led to acclaim from across football and far beyond, with Harry Kane, Boris Johnson and David Baddiel among those joining in the celebrations.
Baddiel famously joined fellow comic Frank Skinner and indie band the Lightning Seeds in creating the 1996 Three Lions hit song, with the “It’s coming home…” lyric weighing heavily for over a quarter of a century.
In a letter to the England team, The Queen said they would serve as inspirational figures for generations to come.
She wrote: “My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Football Championships.
“It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff. The championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise.
“However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.
“It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
England men’s captain Harry Kane, whose side were beaten on penalties by Italy at Wembley in last year’s European Championship final, said the scenes this time around were “absolutely unreal.”
The striker spared high praise for Ella Toone, whose precise lob gave England a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute, saying the Manchester United forward should “take a bow for that finish.”
His England colleague Raheem Sterling hailed the group as “history-makers.” Kane and Sterling will be among the England team targeting World Cup glory later this year.
Former England defender Gary Neville called it “a seismic moment for sport in this country” while outgoing Prime Minister Johnson said it was a “stunning victory”.
Gary Lineker, who reached the World Cup semi-finals with England in 1990 and won the Golden Boot at the 1986 tournament, harked back to a famous comment he once made about German success.
Appropriating it for the Lionesses, he wrote: “Football is a simple game. 22 women chase a ball for 90 minutes and, at the end, England actually wins.” – keepup.com.au