In a good luck greeting ahead of the Euro 2020 final, the Queen praised the England football team’s “spirit, commitment, and pride.”
The monarch conveyed her “best wishes” for Sunday’s showdown against Italy at Wembley Stadium in a note to manager Gareth Southgate.
The men’s football team hasn’t won a major competition since winning the 1966 World Cup, also at Wembley.
The Queen recalls giving the Jules Rimet award to Bobby Moore almost six decades ago in her written tribute to the squad.
“I was lucky to deliver the World Cup to Bobby Moore fifty-five years ago and saw what it meant to the players, management, and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament,” she added.
“I want to express my congratulations, as well as those of my family, on reaching the final of the European Championships, and to send my best wishes for tomorrow, in the hopes that history will remember not only your victory, but also the spirit, commitment, and pride with which you have conducted yourselves.”
Of recent days, there has been a surge in support across the country, with the players even receiving a call from Hollywood celebrity Tom Cruise.
Captain Harry Kane revealed that the actor from Mission: Impossible and Top Gun, who is now in London, called the players to wish them success.
“I guess he was over here in the UK and he simply dialed in and FaceTimed us just to wish us the best as a group, so it was sweet of him,” he told BBC Radio 5Live.
“I’m not sure if he’ll be at the final or not, but football is such a large part of the world, and it’s wonderful to have support from a variety of businesses, I suppose.”
Kane thanked the public’s strong support for the squad and the national excitement that has grown during the tournament.
“They’ll be rooting for us all throughout the country, and we can’t wait to hopefully win the game for them,” he said.
On Saturday, fans lined the road and waved flags as the England squad bus left the England training camp.
The official England team account posted a video with the message: “Wow… what a send-off!” The #ThreeLions are leaving St. George’s Park for the final time, and the scenes are incredible.”
Before the match, a message of good luck from David Baddiel, Frank Skinner, and the Lightning Seeds – the band behind the hit Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) – was projected onto the white cliffs of Dover.
Good luck messages will be displayed on digital displays throughout London’s transportation network, with well wishes appearing at Tube stations, the DLR, and London Overground, as well as bus stops and road traffic alert signs.
As he gathered fans throughout the country, Southgate spoke of his pride in England’s past and his squad’s role in fostering “tolerance and inclusion” in modern England.
As he prepares for his team’s place in history, England manager Gareth Southgate said he wants his players to help accomplish “good things that we could contribute to improve or impact in society.”
Southgate’s team has been praised for its social conscience, with players being applauded for kneeling against racism, refusing to donate to the NHS, and taking the campaign for free school meals to Downing Street.
England fans are expected to buy millions of pints and withdraw hundreds of millions of pounds in cash as the country prepares for the chance to be crowned European champions – and some are even renaming streets to show their support for the Three Lions.
According to ATM network Link, an estimated £750 million is projected to be withdrawn from cash machines over the weekend, up 12 percent from the same period a year ago.
England fans are expected to buy 7.1 million pints on Sunday, according to the British Beer & Pub Association.
According to a survey by Vouchercodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), £815 million will have been spent in pubs and hospitality facilities by the end of the competition, with 32.6 million pints sold.
Following the team’s 2-1 semi-final victory over Denmark, flag producers have been working “through the night” to keep up with the surge in demand for England-themed merchandise.
Residents on Wales Street in Oldham, Greater Manchester, renamed their street England Street and replaced the previous sign with a new red-and-white sign.
Employers and school administrators are considering allowing staff and students, respectively, to enjoy a lie-in the morning following the game, in response to anticipated celebrations or commiserations.
A handful of schools have already stated that students will be permitted to begin classes later on Monday if they so desire.
The final is set to begin at 8 p.m. and will conclude by 10 p.m. if it runs on schedule.
If the game goes to overtime or a penalty shootout, the game will end at 11 p.m.
The final is projected to draw a record television audience, with Coral betting odds of 4-5 that it would be the most-watched program or broadcast in the United Kingdom’s history.