Prince William is feeling the (wearying) effects of fatherhood.
The royal dad, 32, confessed to sleepless nights with two-week-old Princess Charlotte and a boisterous toddler in 22-month-old Prince George when he met members of the England women’s soccer team, the Lionesses, on Wednesday.
“All the girls were asking how Princess Charlotte is and Prince George and whether they keep him up all night,” Steph Houghton, captain of the team, tells PEOPLE.
Chatting with the players in the locker room, “He was saying he’s obviously really enjoying being a father and Princess Charlotte is actually keeping him up – and probably why his eyes are looking a little bit tired,” says Houghton, 27, who plays center half.
And toddler George may soon be playing soccer himself? “Hopefully,” she says. “He was saying he never stops moving!”
Fellow player Jill Scott adds, “He said he’d had a few sleepless nights. The baby will be up and George is running around now isn’t he? It reflects that he does a normal life away from his duty as prince.”
Houghton, who’s set to lead the team out at the upcoming World Cup in Canada on June 6, says she could sense his own passion for the game. “When he came in he knew all about our qualification process and how many goals we scored and where we were ranked in the world.
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“Everyone knows he’s an Aston Villa fan and he’s really excited for the FA cup final and handing out the trophy, hopefully, in his words, to Aston Villa.
“It means an awful lot that Prince William’s come down to support us ahead of a massive tournament for ourselves,” says Houghton. “He was just telling us to enjoy being over here and enjoy every single moment and do everyone proud.”
Adds Scott: “He was very relaxed. He is a normal guy who wants to have normal conversations. He spoke to us about Canada and said he’d been there a few times. We were trying to get some places to go in our downtime.”
So was he able to pass on any tips? “He said he has to go to quite professional places. It was just fantastic.”
It wasn’t Scott’s first encounter with the heir. “The first time I actually fouled him in a little football game we were playing,” she says of a visit William made to Newcastle for a grassroots project nearly a decade ago. “He remembered that!”
For more royal photos and all the details on Will and Kate’s growing family, pick up People’s Princess Charlotte collector’s edition, in stores May 15. Or download the digital version at peoplespecials.com