Kate's and Will's Royal Baby: Which Football Team Should He Support?

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2013

John Terry gets in on the action (@PaddyPower)
John Terry gets in on the action (@PaddyPower)

Unless you have managed to avoid television, newspapers, social networks and all human contact over the past 24 hours, you will know the British Royal Family has a new member. 

Weighing in at a healthy eight pounds and six ounces, the much anticipated #RoyalBaby has graced the world with his presence, becoming the first member of the House of Windsor to be live blogged through birth and celebrated by toilet paper companies on Twitter. What an age we live in.

Coverage of Will's and Kate's new bundle of joy may have breached saturation point already, but a key question remains: Which football club should the future King of England follow?

Thankfully, B/R has tackled this burning issue with our own reasoning and theories...


The Proximity Effect

In his autobiography, British comedian Frank Skinner explains the manner in which true football fans should select their respective teams.

To paraphrase the staunch West Bromwich Albion fan, one must inspect a map and work out the closest team to the place where one is from. That's how Skinner ended up following the Baggies as a young lad, rather than the much more successful Aston Villa. 

Applying this geographical technique to the Prince of Cambridge's birthplaceSt Mary's Hospital in Westminster—his closest team is Queen's Park Rangers, a mere three miles away from where he entered the world. (How apt that Harry Redknapp's side also feature his great-grandmother's title in their name!)

However, applying the proximity effect to the baby's first home— expected to be Kensington Palace— would make him a Chelsea fan, as Stamford Bridge is a little over two miles southwest of the royal residence. 

To make matters even more complicated, it is thought that the Queen might give Kate and Wills a home on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to raise their first-born son. This, of course, means Bubba Windsor should be either a Norwich or Peterborough fan, with both sides situated around 35 miles away. 

Seeing as Peterborough are known as "The Posh," they are the natural choice for a member of royalty.


Family ties

The typical experience of a British football fan is to be taken to your first game by your father, with his favorite team duly becoming your own.

If this is the case, the youngster should support Aston Villa, just like his dad. In fact, ESPN report that the Midlands side have already attempted to poach a new royal fan by sending him a tiny replica kit with "HRH" emblazoned on the back. 

Prince William, however, did not choose to follow his father's team, as Charles is understood to be a Liverpool fan. The future king has also pledged support to Burnley in the past, having admitted to keeping a keen eye on their results. 

The Queen, meanwhile, has been an Arsenal fan for the past 50 years, apparently born from an admiration of Denis Compton, the only man to have captained both the England football and cricket teams.

What's in a name?

As previously noted, Peterborough would be a good choice of team because of their "Posh" nickname. But even more appropriate are Reading FC, who are, of course, known as The Royals. (Interesting fact: Reading used to be known as The Biscuitmen, because the town was once home to a global biscuit producer. But that name isn't quite as glamorous.)

The royal baby mama may also encourage her son to follow Reading, as one of the Middletons' neighbors while she was growing up was chairman Sir John Madejski. The former Reading owner was a guest at William's and Kate's wedding and might just hold some influence over the youngster's choice of club. 


Third in line is fine

The Prince of Cambridge is now third in line to the throne, usurping his flame-haired, Nazi-dressing, Las-Vegas-nudity-encouraging uncle Harry merely by being born. Therefore, is it not fitting that the newest royal should support the side that are third in line to the Premier League throne at his time of birth?

According to the bookmakers, Manchester United are the most likely side to finish in third place in 2013-14, with their noisy neighbors Manchester City and nouveau riche southern rivals Chelsea ahead of them in the ascension to the English league title. 

In 26 years time, will William's and Kate's son be cheering on the Red Devils as Sir David Moyes matches Sir Alex Ferguson's managerial reign at the club? Probably not, but there's a good chance Ryan Giggs will still be playing then, and Paul Scholes will have been persuaded out of retirement for the 16th time too. 


Living up to his title

As the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the royal baby shall henceforth be known as the Prince of Cambridge. While this may prove useful in his application to the city's vaunted university in 18 years time, it also implies that he should hold a close affinity to the area. 

As such, he may want to consider following Cambridge United, who have plied their trade in the Conference for the past seven years. Attending a few games at the Abbey Stadium might give a sorely needed boost to The U's, whose recent history has been blighted by financial dire straits. 


The royal conclusion

As you can see, there's no straightforward answer to this critically important royal baby question. 

Personally, this writer fully endorses Skinner's proximity effect, so one of the clubs near the youngster's birth place or first home should be entitled to a new royal supporter. 

However, like so many other lovers of the beautiful game, this writer became a fan of his father's chosen team, so a future of wearing Villa's claret and blue might be on the horizon for the future king. 

Yet there is clearly no single team that the royal family holds an affiliation with, so the royal baby's choice of club will ultimately be as arbitrary as his choice of horse for his first polo match.

For the true answer to this conundrum, you'll probably need to sit tight for the next decade or so.