Thousands of fans are celebrating England’s Euros win with the players in central London today after their inspiring victory at the weekend.
The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in front of 87,000 supporters at Wembley Stadium on Sunday (31 July), securing the first major tournament title for the country since 1966.
Up to 7,000 supporters have joined the team at an event hosted by veteran player Alex Scott in Trafalgar Square from 11 am on Monday (1 August).
The free entry event is on a first-come-first-served basis, with live music from DJ Monki, a showing of tournament highlights and a Q&A involving the players and manager, Sarina Wiegman, before the trophy is lifted.
If you want to watch the event, and can’t attend in person, it will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 12:40pm
‘A significant achievement’
Royals and politicians have hailed their inspiring performance, with the Queen saying the team’s “success goes far beyond the trophy”.
In a statement, she said: “My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Football Championships.
“It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff.
“The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise.
“However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned.
“You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.
“It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
The Duke of Cambridge was among those supporting from the sidelines and said after the match that it had been “wonderful to see history in the making”.
Meanwhile, team captain Leah Williamson dubbed it “the proudest moment of my life” and said she could not stop crying after the win.
Spectators in the crowd at Wembley included the men’s captain Harry Kane and Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who watched the match from home with his children Wilfred and Romy, praised the team for their “stunning” victory.
Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak tweeted a photograph of himself cheering on the team and said the Lionesses had “won the hearts” of the country.
Supporters who attended the match described the team’s win as a “victory for girls across the country”.
There was a carnival-like atmosphere as a huge sea of England flags were carried out of the stadium after the match, with supporters cheering, blowing horns and singing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and Queen’s We Are The Champions.
Hundreds of fans cheered the players on from Trafalgar Square, and horns and chants of “It’s coming home” could be heard as a light drizzle came down, as Elton John blared out of the speakers around Trafalgar Square.
The large TV screens were temporarily turned off after revellers went into the fountains.
Meanwhile, girls from England forward Ellen White’s former football club Aylesbury United Ladies & Girls FC hailed her as an “inspiration” at a local watch party.
Supporters were draped in free flags which simply read: “Home.”
Chloe Kelly’s extra-time winner against Germany at Wembley on Sunday was still fresh in the memory as families arrived singing and dancing, including one girl dressed liked a lion.
Flags were waving and chants were already beginning well over two hours before those in attendance were even going to get a glimpse of the European champions.
At 12:30pm, Alex Scott introduced the players onto the stage as BBC One began streaming the coverage.
She started another rendition of ‘Football’s coming home’ as fans who could not get into Trafalgar Square gathered on the steps of the National Gallery just to get a vantage point.
Captain Leah Williamson hailed Wiegman as the “missing ingredient” for the England team, adding that the players had “partied more than they had played football” in the last 24 hours, and Lucy Bronze got the crowd cheering as she said the aim was now to win the World Cup.
Jill Scott said her hopes were that women’s football would now be known as ‘football’ following their success.