It was rather fitting that the first Premier League game since Queen Elizabeth II’s death involved her grandson’s favourite team Aston Villa.
The late Queen passed away on September 8, leaving an unparalleled legacy on the United Kingdom as the country’s longest-serving monarch.
She died peacefully with her family at Balmoral Castle, with her grandson, Prince William, paying tribute to her in the preceding days.
Clearly moved by the emotional scenes, Prince William would have had little time to think about one of his favourite loves, Aston Villa, but they made sure to let him know how they felt.
A moment’s silence was held for Her Majesty before kick-off of their 1-0 win over Southampton, which saw fans light the torches on their phones to add to the implacable tribute.
A rendition of God Save the King was then sung in honour of the country’s new monarch, King Charles III, with Villa Park joining in with the tribute.
And later, in the 70th minute, the stadium staged a minute’s applause to mark the number of years the Queen was on the throne.
Villa’s most well-known supporter is Prince William, who was unsurprisingly unable to make the fixture, but is a regular sight at Villa Park.
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He’s also President of the Football Association, and often seen on-pitch at Wembley ahead of key fixtures, including the FA Cup final.
Second in-line to the throne after his father King Charles III, Prince William was born in London where he has spent his life.
However, in 2015 he clarified why he supports Birmingham side Villa while speaking to the BBC’s Gary Lineker.
“A long time ago at school I got into football big time,” he explained. “I was looking around for clubs.
“All my friends at school were either Man United fans or Chelsea fans and I didn’t want to follow the run of the mill teams.
“I wanted to have a team that was more mid-table that could give me more emotional rollercoaster moments.
“Aston Villa’s always had a 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.
“It was fantastic, I sat with all the fans with my red beanie on, and I was sat with all the Brummie fans and had a great time.
“It was the atmosphere, the camaraderie and I really felt that there was something I could connect with.”