'Closet Claret': Prince Charles admits to being a Burnley FC Fan
Prince Charles has finally revealed where his allegiances lie football-wise… with Burnley Football club.
And while fellow fans of the team might not be surprised by his choice – he has dropped a series of hints in the past. Many will be surprised that the heir to the throne didn't opt to support a Premier League team. He clearly knows that good things eventually come to those who wait.
Prince Charles told a stunned audience at a Windsor Castle dinner that he is a loyal supporter of the Championship side. And fellow fans of Burnley – nicknamed the Clarets – believe the Prince should his official residence Clarence House to Clarets House.
Avid follower: Prince Charles shares a joke with a charity worker at Burnley Football Club's grounds, Turf Moor, last year
His Royal Highness has often hinted about his love for the club but this is the first occasion he has openly admitted he is a Burnley fan. Son Prince William is a fan of Premier League side Aston Villa, who, like Burnley, also play in claret and blue.
Prince Charles, 63, described himself as a closet claret. Speaking at a ceremony for the British Asian Trust he said: 'A consortium of my charities, including the British Asian Trust, has been working in Burnley.
'Hence, some of you asked this evening whether I support a British football club and I said “yes – Burnley”.'
He explained that the town has been through some very challenging times adding: 'I'm trying to find ways of helping to regenerate and raise aspirations and self-esteem in that part of the world.
'My charities have been working there together to demonstrate that an integrated approach can produce the best dividends.'
Burnley Football Club, currently 10th in
the league following a two-nil home win over Barnsley, has now sent the
Prince a complimentary VIP season ticket for the directors' box.
Great footwork: The Prince of Wales and former England football captain Jimmy Armfield attempt to tackle nine-year-old Callum Atkinson during a coaching session at Burnley FC in 2005
The prince has supported the former cotton mill town for many years and has visited numerous times. His charity the Prince's Trust has an office in Burnley, and he has called the 'remarkable town' his 'number one priority'.
In February 2010, he spoke of his affection for the Weavers Triangle development plans and its importance in the regeneration of the town.
On that occasion he also visited Burnley's home ground Turf Moor and met chairman Barry Kilby and then manager Brian Laws.
A club spokesman said: 'It's no surprise to see Charles reaffirming his support for Burnley Football Club as we know he keeps a close eye on our results.
'In fact, as part of our new season ticket package we are sending a complimentary VIP season ticket to Charles and we hope to see him cheering on the Clarets from the Directors' Box next season – hopefully in the Premier League.'
Clarets House Burnley players celebrate their 2-0 win over Barnsley yesterday
Phil Miller, of the Accy Clarets supporters club, said: 'Burnley by Royal Approval, you can't get any better than that.
'It is great to hear the club's name mentioned in such high circles, it can't do any harm.
'We had Ted Heath and Lord Montgomery of Alamein coming in the days when Bob Lord was here, but the Monarchy is a step up from that.
'Maybe it should be Clarets House rather than Clarence House!
'Let's hope we can get to Wembley come May, and Prince Charles can be in the Royal Box sitting next to Barry Kilby.'
Alan Beecroft, of the Colne Clarets supporters group, said: 'It is wonderful news, it's great publicity for the club.
'We are looking for a new chairman, maybe Prince Charles fancies the job and he could invest in the club!
He added: 'For Prince Charles to come out and say he supports Burnley is tremendous, it would be great to see him at a game.
'I know his charities have done a lot for Burnley and he has visited once or twice before, including going toe Turf Moor. I've met Prince Andrew before in Burnley.
'And I know he has said he looks for the club's results, so we've not done badly out of the Royal Family.'