Sterling pounced on 75 minutes, firing home from close range to send the Duke of Cambridge into raptures, with wife Kate Middleton and Prince George rather more restrained in their celebrations. Minutes later Spurs striker Harry Kane finally opened his account in the tournament, doubling England’s lead and raising hopes that Gareth Southgate’s men would beat Germany for the first time in a knockout game since 1966.
With 40,000 fans roaring them on, England took the game to their opponents but the game remained deadlocked until Manchester City winger Sterling’s decisive intervention.
Germany’s Thomas Muller then missed a gilt-edged chance for the visitors with the Tottenham frontman heading home minutes later.
Southgate, who famously missed a spot-kick in Euro 96 as England lost to Germany on penalties, remained impassive after Kane’s goal, urging his players to keep calm and see the game out.
However, there was little attempt to conceal emotions at the final whistle, as England advanced to Saturday’s quarter-final in Rome, when they will face Ukraine.
William, who is an Aston Villa fan, may also have got on an extra boost from the fact that the assist for Kane’s goal was provided by Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.
Seven-year-old George was attending his first England men’s international – an after school treat to watch the Euro 2020 clash against Germany.
But there was no England football shirt for the young future king.
George was dressed in a smart navy blue jacket, shirt and…