Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has been left red-faced after he invited the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to watch Aston Villa take on Manchester United in Perth.
In a personal letter to Prince William and Kate Middleton, Mr McGowan asked the couple to visit “Australia’s sunniest capital” for the clash on Saturday July 23, according to The Sunday Times.
Mr McGowan said he would use his contacts to acquire a couple of tickets to the sell-out match at Perth’s Optus Stadium if the pair wanted to attend.
“Inviting William and Kate to Perth is an exciting opportunity to further promote our vibrant and dynamic city, which offers visitors from around the world a unique way of life and experiences that simply can’t be found anywhere else,” he said.
But Acting Premier and Tourism Minister Roger Cook told The West Live’s Ben O’Shea the proposal had been met with silence.
“We haven’t heard yet whether they can make the trip – I suspect it’s a pretty slim chance, but wouldn’t it be fantastic if they did come over for the game,” he said on Tuesday.
“I hope they do take up the invitation from the Premier – we would love to see them in Western Australia.
“We know that Wiliam is a huge fan of Aston Villa, and you can imagine the conversations in the house: ‘Please Kate, let me go to this game. I’ll be really quiet and take some of the boys with me’.”
Western Australia will host four English Premier League teams in two matches as part of Perth’s Festival of International Football to attract thousands of tourists and inject millions of dollars into the local economy.
Leeds United will take on Crystal Palace on Friday July 22, while Manchester United and Aston Villa will face off the following day.
The Duke of Cambridge, who is the President of the Football Association, has been a long-time supporter of Birmingham-based Aston Villa.
In a 2015 interview with BBC presenter Gary Linekar, William said he “got into football big time” at school.
While his friends were either Manchester United or Chelsea fans, he did not want to “follow the run in the mill teams”.
“I wanted to have a team that was more mid-table that could give me more emotional rollercoaster moments,” he said.
“Aston Villa’s always had great history. I have got friends of mine who support Aston Villa and one of the first FA Cup games I went to was Bolton v Aston Villa back in 2000. Sadly, Villa went on to lose to Chelsea.”