Opera singer Carly Paoli belted out the national anthem ahead of kick-off when England faced Italy and even stripped off her red cloak during her rendition to reveal a full Azzurri kit underneath.
The Mansfield-born performer belted out God Save The King before what was England’s first fixture since the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Shortly after that, Paoli remained on the pitch to then sing Italy’s anthem – Inno di Mameli. During this, she dropped her coat to show those in attedance and watching at home she was wearing a full Italy kit.
Though many could be forgiven for assuming she was rooting for an Italy victory, Paoli has previously described herself as an “English rose with Italian roots”.
Remarkably, this is not the first time the singer has actually done something like this. Last year, Paoli sang both anthems ahead of Northern Ireland’s home contest against Italy at Windsor Park.
On that occasion, she performed Italy’s anthem first before revealing that she was decked out in the full Green and White kit for her rendition of God Save The Queen.
Paoli had previously discussed the ‘honour and privilege’ of being able to sing both England and Italy’s anthem before the game on Thursday night, as well as explaining her Italian heritage.
“Singing God Save the Queen was a tradition for Her Majesty and now it is important to celebrate the new King and it is a privilege to be able to do that,” Paoli told the Belfast Telegraph.
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“I’m sure the royal family will be watching Italy play England, especially the Prince of Wales (William) and his sons who I know are huge football fans. My mother’s side of the family comes from Italy and I have grown up in England so it is really exciting to sing both national anthems that mean so much to me.
“Singing Inno di Mameli in front of a passionate Italian crowd will be simply wonderful and to have the honour of singing God Save the King for the first time in international football will make it a night I will never forget.”
In constrast, the night proved to be one England boss Gareth Southgate will hope to forget as soon as possible as the Three Lions were beaten 1-0 at the San Siro. Giacomo Raspadori’s 68th minute strike was enough to relegate England to Tier B of the Uefa Nations League.
After the game, Southgate insisted: “We’ve got to keeping working on it and make sure we stay on track. They’ll be a huge amount of noise of course but that’s created from the summer, really and I totally understand that.
“The players in the dressing room know this was a game they well could have won. And if they take their chances and defend the goal better, then we do win. It’s fine margins. We’re playing some of the biggest football nations and the fine margins are decisive.”