William spotted cheering on Aston Villa in European semi-final

The Prince of Wales was spotted cheering on Aston Villa in their European semi-final tie, on the evening of his daughter Princess Charlotte’s ninth birthday.

William clapped and cheered in the Villa Park stands in Birmingham on Thursday as his team lost 4-2 in the first leg of the Europa Conference League match against Olympiacos.

He was seen talking to friends in a private seating area before the game before reacting and gesturing throughout the first half of the match. One picture showed him enthusiastically celebrating a Villa goal which was later disallowed for a foul in the build-up.

Aston Villa v Olympiacos – UEFA Conference League – Semi Final – First Leg – Villa Park
The Prince of Wales applauds in the stands (Nick Potts/PA)

William’s visit to Villa Park came on the same day as Princess Charlotte celebrated her ninth birthday. The occasion was marked with the release of an image of the young royal taken by the Princess of Wales.

The photograph was posted on the Wales’s official X account, with the words “Happy 9th Birthday, Princess Charlotte!” and a cake emoji. It also said: “Thank you for all the kind messages today.”

The birthday celebrations come as the Wales family navigate Kate’s treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, with the princess away from official duties since the start of the year.

Princess Charlotte birthday
Princess Charlotte has celebrated her ninth birthday (The Prince and Princess of Wales/Kensington Palace/PA)

Charlotte and her siblings, Princes George and Louis, have been the focus for William and Kate. The princess said in her video message to the nation announcing her diagnosis in March that the pair “have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family”.

The royal couple released the new image of Charlotte straight to social media, rather than under embargo to the press as was the tradition, just as they had done with the picture marking Louis’ sixth birthday on April 23.

The change follows the uproar sparked by the princess’s digitally altered Mother’s Day photograph.