Prince William visited the West Bromwich Albion Football Club as part of his Heads Up campaign

By Helen Murphy
November 28, 2019 11:27 AM

Prince William spent Thanksgiving morning visiting a soccer team as part of his mental health campaign.

On Thursday, the royal — and avid soccer fan! — paid a visit to the West Bromwich Albion Football Club to talk with members of the team about the pressures they face as players, and how those factors can affect their mental wellbeing. William also met with young players from West Brom’s Academy.

The trip was part of the Heads Up initiative, a season-long campaign spearheaded by William, 37. The campaign uses the popularity of soccer in the U.K. to emphasize that mental health is just as important as physical health.

In one sweet moment, William — who is also the president of the Football Association — was gifted presents for his three children with wife Kate Middleton: Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1½.

The representative from the team who gave William the presents joked that West Bromwich Albion doesn’t have “a chance” with William’s son George, who is already taking after his father as an Aston Villa fan: “This is for George. But I don’t think we’ve got a chance, have we?”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince William
| Credit: Rui Vieira - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince William
| Credit: Rui Vieira - WPA Pool/Getty Images

William laughed but responded that George would “love” his present, a soccer ball that was used in the warm-up of the team’s most recent game. Charlotte and Louis were also given mini West Bromwich Albion jerseys with their names on the back.

“The football … will go down extremely well,” William said, adding of Charlotte’s jersey, “I’ll see how she gets on with that!”

“She’ll definitely like the fact that there’s a Louis as well,” he continued. “I love it. That’s very kind of you guys, thank you very much”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince William
| Credit: Rui Vieira - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Last month, William and Kate, 37, were photographed enjoying an Aston Villa game with their eldest children George and Charlotte. It ended up being a joyous occasion, as Aston Villa went on to win the match 5-1.

Seemingly taking after his father, George appeared filled with enthusiasm during the match, and one adorable clip shared by the Kensington Royal Instagram account showed the young royal bouncing up and down in his seat while watching the action on the field.

Other photos showed William leaning in and pointing towards the players as he appeared to explain what was happening to his son.

Prince George, Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

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Earlier this week, the dad of three revealed that he has been urging George to treat sister Charlotte equally when they are playing soccer together in the garden.

William spoke to a young activist who promotes gender equality in the game when she visited Kensington Palace on Tuesday. “He said, ‘When George and Charlotte play football, George gets Charlotte to go in goal because he says he is better.’ But Prince William says to him, ‘Charlotte could be as good as you, George, so give her the same chances,’” said Olivia Hancock, 14.

“I think that was really good as it shows Prince William is standing up for equality as well. He is doing something for women in sport.”