Prince William was pelted with boos on Saturday as he met with players at Wembley Stadium prior to the Football Association Cup Final soccer match.
Attendees at the historic Liverpool stadium first began jeering during Prince William‘s introduction, as could be heard during BBC coverage of the pre-match festivities. This continued as the Duke of Cambridge greeted and shook hands with players from both teams, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Prince William, in addition to his duties as a prominent member of the British Royal Family, also serves as president of the Football Association (FA), which serves as the main governing body for professional soccer matches in the United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies. With a history dating back over 150 years, the FA Cup is one of the association’s highest honors and is considered to be the oldest national soccer competition in the world.
Thousands in the audience were also heard booing during a rendition of the British national anthem, “God Save the Queen.”
As the boos played out, viewers took to Twitter with a variety of reactions. Some expressed shock and surprise, claiming to have never heard of such an incident. Others offered kudos to the crowd for their seemingly critical stance towards the royal family.
“Astounding amount of booing at Wembley both as Prince William was handshaking the players plus [immediately] after the National Anthem,” Twitter user Spenceroos wrote, reflecting the reactions of those surprised by the jeers. “I’m talking booing at the Stadium. Unbelievable. What’s with that? Explain that one to me.”
“God save the queen getting boo’d at the FA Cup Final is glorious,” Twitter user Callum James McCulloch wrote in a thread, echoing the positive reactions of some. “And seeing everyone crying at Liverpool fans booing the national anthem is even better. We honestly love to see English tears.”
As was reported by outlets like The Independent on Saturday, Liverpool crowds booing things like the national anthem might not actually be surprising. In fact, the tradition dates back to around 40 years ago.
As the outlet explained, Liverpool residents’ perception of the broader U.K. leadership and establishment began to sour in the early 1980s, when the conservative government was viewed as causing a marked downturn in the city’s status. There has also been some growing discontent with the conservative leadership of the last decade, with some in Liverpool taking issue with growing inequality and declining foodbanks.
Newsweek reached out to the FA for comment.