Women's World Cup: Prince William praises England campaign

Prince William and the England squad
Prince William met with the England squad before they travelled to Canada for the World Cup

The Duke of Cambridge has thanked England for an "inspiring" Women's World Cup campaign in Canada.

The Lionesses went out of the competition in the semi-final stage after losing 2-1 to Japan.

The Duke sent a good luck message before the game and followed it up with a congratulatory statement on Thursday.

It read:external-link "All football fans around the country will, I hope, join me in sending their thanks to the Lionesses for what has been a thrilling ride."

Mark Sampson's squad became only the third England team to reach a World Cup semi-final, after the 1990 men's side and the 1966 men's World Cup winners.

Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, said: "We were reminded last night that part of what makes the game great is the emotional rollercoaster it can send us on.

"I know the team are bitterly disappointed, but I hope more than that they will be proud of what they have achieved."

Holders Japan will now face the USA in Sunday's final (kick-off Monday 00:00 BST), while England take on Germany in Saturday's third-place play-off (21:00 BST).

The Duke added: "They've inspired thousands of girls and boys around the country and entered history as one of England's great teams. I wish them the best of luck for their game on Saturday."