Prince William Booing Drama a 'Great Shame,' U.K. Prime Minister Says

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has weighed in on the drama surrounding Liverpool FC fans booing Prince William and the national anthem during Saturday's FA (Football Association) Cup final, calling it a "great shame" via a spokesperson.

The comments follow a number of British politicians' statements condemning the behavior of fans at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday where Liverpool and Chelsea played for the FA Cup, with Liverpool winning in a penalty shootout.

Some Liverpool fans audibly booed Prince William when his arrival was announced at the stadium, attending the game in his capacity as the FA president—a role he has fulfilled since 2006. There was also booing during the British national anthem, "God Save The Queen," which has been regarded by some as a mark of disrespect to the 96-year-old monarch who is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year.

Liverpool's German manager Jürgen Klopp defended his club's supporters actions, telling The Times that they are "wonderful people" but that "in these situations I think it's always best to ask the question 'why they do it?'"

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Boris Johnson has, via a spokesperson, called the booing of Prince William by Liverpool FC fans at the FA Cup Final on Saturday a "great shame." Johnson, left, photographed on March 1, 2022. William, right, photographed at the cup final on May 14, 2021. LEON NEAL / KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/ GETTY IMAGES

"I know our people well enough that they would not do it if there was no reason," he continued, "I am not here long enough to understand the reason."

When asked if Johnson agreed with Klopp's assessment, a spokesperson for the prime minister replied to The Times:

"No, I mean, obviously the events over the weekend, it was a great shame that as we are marking 150 years of the FA Cup, an event that brings people together, that a small minority chose to act in that way."

Politicians from within Johnson's Conservative Party took stronger stands over the weekend, condemning the fans' actions and calling for those responsible to be held to account.

Former culture secretary Karen Bradley told the Daily Mail: "It is utterly unacceptable and disgraceful that fans booed Prince William. I would urge the FA to take all necessary action and pursue those responsible."

Current speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, added his voice to those condemning the booing telling The Independent that, ""The FA Cup final should be an occasion when we come together as a country. It should not be ruined by a minority of fans' totally shameful behavior.

"In this year of all years—the Queen's Platinum Jubilee—this is dreadful."

Despite some interpreting the booing as a personal attack on William and the queen, some commentators have suggested that it forms part of a wider historical criticism of "the establishment" by Liverpool residents.

As a result of the polarizing political landscape of the 1980s, during which former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party's hard-line policies and economic reforms were put in place, opposition to the government grew in Liverpool. This was compounded in 1989 after the Hillsborough disaster.

The tragedy saw 97 Liverpool fans die and hundreds more injured as a result of a human crush at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield during an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest.

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Prince William was booed by some Liverpool fans at the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday. Some commentators have suggested that the booing forms part of a wider historical criticism of "the establishment" by Liverpool residents, rather than a personal attack on the Duke of Cambridge. GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Liverpool fans were accused of causing the crush but in 2021 the BBC reported that the South Yorkshire and West Midlands police forces had agreed to pay compensation to around 600 people over a cover-up of mistakes made by police officers on the day of the disaster.

Some commentators point to this background as an explanation for the booing by Liverpool fans at Saturday's match rather than a personal dislike of William or the monarch.

Associate editor of the Daily Mirror, Kevin Maguire, told breakfast show Good Morning Britain: "There is a long tradition of Liverpool fans going back to the 1980s and Thatcher and they're not booing the queen, it's booing the establishment. You've got to remember at the end of the period you had Hillsborough when Liverpool fans and people were treated appallingly by the establishment."

Host Richard Madeley also told viewers of the show that: "I think, in many ways, it's quite a healthy disrespect for the establishment. Yes, when it comes out like that, it looks a bit ugly, but it's part and parcel of Liverpool and the way that proud city is. And the way it isn't cowed and it won't be beaten down."

The FA Cup competition was founded in 1871 and has a long association with members of the royal family. The queen, Prince Charles and Princess Diana all attended cup finals.

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