The stage is almost set at Buckingham Palace for Prince William‘s celebratory football match. The pitch has been marked out which will serve as the battleground for two of England’s oldest teams in celebration of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary.
Royal household gardeners and Wembley groundsman Tony Stone are working together on the pitch, which will be mowed with criss cross stripes, just like those at Wembley.
The Duke of Cambridge, in his capacity as president of the FA, helped organise the special event. He is said to have asked the Queen‘s permission to stage the exclusive fixture in the 39-acre gardens of the palace.
He will host the match, between the world’s oldest Association Football club, Civil Service FC, and their local rivals Polytechnic FC, and also present medals to 150 grassroots volunteers in recognition of their dedication to the sport.
The Queen will not be present, however, as she will be at Balmoral.
William praised the 400,000 volunteers every year who help run local matches, and to whom the game is a tribute.
He said: “In our 150th year, it is hugely important for the FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who week in, week out, help to provide the opportunity for millions more people to enjoy football at grassroots level.
“Inviting 150 of these volunteers to Buckingham Palace provides a fitting way for the FA to pay tribute and give thanks.”
Just 200 people will attend the game, which will be invitation only, including a small number of officials and guests from the two west London-based clubs.