'On pain of death, please don't tell me the score': Middle East tour forces Prince William to miss England match

Hannah Furness
The Duke of Cambridge watches the England v Panama game with the Crown Prince of Jordan - @KensingtonRoyal

As the Duke of Cambridge embarked on his landmark tour to the Middle East, due to become the first member of the British Royal family to undertake an official visit to Israel, he could be forgiven for feeling the weight of history on his shoulders. 

As befits the president of the Football Association though, he also had one other thing on his mind: watching the World Cup.

The Duke, who has landed in Amman, Jordan for the first day of his tour, asked his new friend Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II to record the England match for him, making those around him promise not to tell him the score.

The Duke and the Prince, 23, later watched the recorded game after dinner, as the Jordanian Royal family hosted their visitor.

Kensington Palace tweeted two pictures of the duke and the crown prince casually dressed and sitting side by side on a sofa watching the game on a large screen at the Beit Al Urdun Palace.

The Crown Prince of Jordan had recorded the England-Panama game for the Duke of Cambridge Credit: Twitter/@KensingtonRoyal

Speaking to the media before he had a chance to switch on the television, the Duke joked of the England-Panama match: "On pain of death, please don't tell me the score."

The plans for football appeared to be the start of a firm friendship between the two royals, as the Prince drove the Duke around Amman in person for their first day of engagements.

As the Duke stepped off his RAF Voyager into the 32C heat of Amman, he was greeted warmly by Crown Prince Hussein for the visit he is said to be “very much looking forward to”.

The Prince then drove him to FabLab, one of his own initiatives to equip young people with technology skills.

In a visit clearly designed to impress the Duke, he was invited to start up a laser cutter which swiftly produced the crest of Aston Villa, the team he supports, on a wooden shield.

“That’s familiar,” he said with a smile when he spotted the Villa crest on the machine. “Very good. You have done your research.”

He was also given a model of the gas tank on one of his beloved Ducati motorbikes bearing the Villa crest.

Jordan is the first stop on Prince William's tour of the Middle East  Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

He shares a passion for motorbikes with Crown Prince Hussein, a Sandhurst-trained second lieutenant in the Jordanian army.

The Duke is to spend five days Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories at the request of the Government.

The Duchess of Cambridge has not accompanied her husband on the trip at home with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The historic nature of this tour is of course important and the duke considers it a great privilege to be undertaking the first ever official royal tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to be able to help further strengthen the friendship between Jordan and the United Kingdom."