England’s most patriotic streets on show as Euro 2020 fever grips nation ahead of final with Italy

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Boris Johnson has made a late entry for Britain’s most patriotic road ahead of the Euro 2020 final as he decked out Downing Street in a sea of St George’s flags.

The prime minister draped England colours all across No10 and stood outside waving his own flag as Euro fever gripped the nation.

Mr Johnson even wore an England pin on his blazer as a final touch of patriotism to add to the scores of flags hanging from windows, lampposts and gates outside his official residence.

Despite not being much of a football fan, the prime minister attended the semi final against Denmark where he wore an England shirt over a collared shirt at Wembley.

The Downing Street decorations have not been received well in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with UK residents asking if he would have done the same thing if their respective countries had reached the final.

Some reacted strongly on Twitter, saying, ‘So much for being PM of the UK’, and ‘Can’t imagine them doing this for Wales Northern Ireland or Scotland.’

Mr Johnson’s most English of displays comes two years after he proclaimed himself Minister for the Union.

He gave himself the role in 2019 after taking power as a response to an increase in support for Scottish independence.

The role sees him work to ‘ensure that all of government is acting on behalf of the entire United Kingdom’.

No10 has hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final – with Keir Starmer also backing the plan.

The PM’s spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered. The extra day off could happen later in July or August.

England’s most patriotic streets on show as Euro 2020 fever grips nation ahead of final with Italy

Boris Johnson has made a late entry for Britain’s most patriotic road ahead of the Euro 2020 final as he decked out Downing Street in a sea of St George’s flags

The prime minister draped England colours all across No10 and stood outside waving his own flag as Euro fever gripped the nation

The prime minister draped England colours all across No10 and stood outside waving his own flag as Euro fever gripped the nation

But the decorations have been received less well in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with UK residents asking if he would have done the same thing if their respective countries had reached the final

But the decorations have been received less well in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with UK residents asking if he would have done the same thing if their respective countries had reached the final

Mr Johnson's most English of displays comes two years after he proclaimed himself Minister for the Union

Mr Johnson’s most English of displays comes two years after he proclaimed himself Minister for the Union

He gave himself the role in 2019 after taking power as a response to an increase in support for Scottish independence

He gave himself the role in 2019 after taking power as a response to an increase in support for Scottish independence

England's most patriotic streets on show as Euro 2020 fever grips nation ahead of final with Italy

England's most patriotic streets on show as Euro 2020 fever grips nation ahead of final with Italy

England's most patriotic streets on show as Euro 2020 fever grips nation ahead of final with Italy

Mr Johnson even wore an England pin on his blazer as a final touch of patriotism to add to the scores of flags hanging from windows, lampposts and gates outside his official residence

Mr Johnson even wore an England pin on his blazer as a final touch of patriotism to add to the scores of flags hanging from windows, lampposts and gates outside his official residence

Boris Johnson holds England flag outside 10 Downing Street two days before the Three Lions take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Boris Johnson holds England flag outside 10 Downing Street two days before the Three Lions take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Despite not being much of a football fan, the prime minister attended the semi final against Denmark where he wore an England shirt over a collared shirt at Wembley

Despite not being much of a football fan, the prime minister attended the semi final against Denmark where he wore an England shirt over a collared shirt at Wembley

It comes as fans across England have been adorning their streets with bunting, flags and Three Lions-themed decorations ahead of the country’s biggest game in 55 years, against Italy on Sunday.

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The flag-tastic streets from all corners of the country, from Essex to North Tyneside to Bristol, have been shared as fans wait in nervous anticipation for England’s biggest game in half a century.

One resident in Chelmsford, Essex has succeeded in covering every available inch of his house in nine giant St George’s flags.

Residents in Torrington Avenue, Bristol have also taken it upon themselves to show their support for their team and have lined their street with bunting as far as the eye can see.

And those living on the Kirby estate in the capital are having to dodge the hundreds of flags that are draped across the railings when they hang their washing out.

Streets across the UK, from London to Bristol, are decked out in flags today as the country gears up for England vs Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

It is the first time that England have reached the final of the European Championship – and the first time they have made it this far in a major tournament since the World Cup triumph in 1966.

Paul Bibby, 55, poses outside his Chelmsford, Essex semi-detached home that he has decorated with England flags

Paul Bibby, 55, poses outside his Chelmsford, Essex semi-detached home that he has decorated with England flags

Paul says he always decorates his house for special occasions, but this time he has strung up 22 individual St George's Crosses, plus dozens more on bunting

Paul says he always decorates his house for special occasions, but this time he has strung up 22 individual St George’s Crosses, plus dozens more on bunting

England's most patriotic streets on show as Euro 2020 fever grips nation ahead of final with Italy

Flag-tastic: Hundreds of households across England have followed Paul’s lead and adorned their available space with regalia

Could this be the most patriotic street in England? Bunting adorned with England flags as far as the eye can see are flown in Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol

Could this be the most patriotic street in England? Bunting adorned with England flags as far as the eye can see are flown in Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol

A collective spirit of hope and expectation has been steadily building throughout the tournament, as England marched on through the group stage and safely navigated their knockout matches.

Hundreds of super-fans across the country are now repaying the Three Lions’ heroes by decking out their houses in patriotic regalia.

Paul Bibby, 55, has covered every inch of his house in Chelmsford, Essex in England flags ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.

Carer Paul has strung up 22 individual St George’s Crosses – plus dozens more on bunting – outside his semi-detached home.

Football fanatic Paul, who has also installed an inflatable mascot, predicted a 2-1 win for England on Sunday.

He said: ‘After the year we’ve had, I wanted to do something to put a smile on people’s faces.

‘I’ve been decorating my house for special occasions for the past ten years but I wanted this year to be special, so I’ve done even more than I would normally.

‘I’d say it’s been a success – you can’t even see the front of the house for all the flags.

‘I’m very patriotic and I like to stay positive, but I really do think it’s coming home this year. Italy are a good team, but so are we.

‘I’d say it’ll be a good game too – I predict a score of 2-1 to us. I think it’s our time so why not put up some decorations to celebrate?’

Charlie Thompson, from North Shields, in North Tyneside, who has covered the outside of his home with England flags in celebration of their progress to the final of Euro 2020

Charlie Thompson, from North Shields, in North Tyneside, who has covered the outside of his home with England flags in celebration of their progress to the final of Euro 2020

Flying the flag: Charlie's North Tyneside home has been decked out with the iconic St George's Cross

Flying the flag: Charlie’s North Tyneside home has been decked out with the iconic St George’s Cross

A woman and her dog stand on a balcony next to an England flag on the Kirby estate in Bermondsey, south London

A woman and her dog stand on a balcony next to an England flag on the Kirby estate in Bermondsey, south London

England flags are strung across Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol as residents support England during the Euro 2020 tournament

England flags are strung across Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol as residents support England during the Euro 2020 tournament

Paul lives with wife Linda Cummings, 58, and son Aaron Bibby, 33, and is well-known in his local area for his spectacular decorations.

Charlie Thompson, from North Shields, in North Tyneside, has also covered the outside of his home with England flags in celebration of their progress to the final of Euro 2020.

His incredible collection is not unique, as thousands have geared up throughout the tournament to celebrate the return of the Euros following the cancellation of the games in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In one estate in Bermondsey, south London, residents have shown their patriotism in a similar way, covering the housing estate in hundreds of flags in a tradition that has been observed in the area since 2012.

Prince Charles backs England to triumph

The Prince of Wales has backed England to beat Italy in the Euro 2020 final, telling pubgoers: ‘It would be marvellous if they won.’

Charles also revealed to regulars at the Ponthir House Inn in South Wales he would be watching the final on Sunday at home but that supporting the national team was not good for the nerves.

Earlier Charles showed that, if England are in need of a penalty taker during their big match on Sunday, he has the skills for the job.

Charles showed that, if England are in need of a penalty taker during their big match on Sunday, he has the skills for the job

Charles showed that, if England are in need of a penalty taker during their big match on Sunday, he has the skills for the job

The heir to the throne showed off his ball control when he met young entrepreneurs supported in starting their businesses by the Cardiff office of The Prince’s Trust.

When football coach Zoe Denman-Ellis, founder of Lundby Juniors an academy for young women players, offered him the chance to shoot at a goal a few metres away, Charles said: ‘I’d be extremely disappointed if I missed that’.

After scoring he joked: ‘It takes a hell of a lot of practice.’

During his visit to the pub in the village of Ponthir near Newport, the prince chatted to regular Colin Morgan, who said later: ‘He said he wouldn’t be going to Wembley, but his eldest son would be.

‘And he said ‘it’s not good for the nerves, watching England play’.’

The prince had donned an apron to pull a pint of the local beer, Butty Bach, behind the bar and Landlord Barrie Walden joked: ‘We are short staffed at the moment.’

Taking a sip, Charles declared it ‘very good,’ before raising his glass to wish staff and regulars ‘Good luck!’.

Moving on, he stopped to chat to locals, spotting one man with a pint of cider and asked: ‘How many glasses do you have to have before you feel it, or lose feeling?’

The Ponthir House Inn has been supported with expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Charles’s ‘Pub is the Hub’ initiative.

Launched in 2001, the not-for-profit organisation offers independent specialist advice to publicans to help them provide viable local services at the heart of their community.

The visit was the last event of Charles’ week-long tour of Wales with the Duchess of Cornwall, and the sporting theme continued when he joined in with a game of bowls in the car park of the village pub.

As he crouched to roll his ball towards the jack, the prince giggled and said: ‘Do I have to get right down to do this?

‘That’s a test one!’ he said as the ball rolled slowly.

‘Oh, you can chuck it up in the air! There you go, I knew I shouldn’t have had the Butty Bach.’

As Charles walked away from the bowls giggling, he shrugged and joked: ‘It’s all absolute balls to me!’

Those living on the Kirby estate in the capital have proudly erected hundreds of flags adorned with St George’s Cross.

Just before the tournament kicked off residents spent days putting up bunting and laying the flags over their balconies, on street lamps and sticking them to the estate’s walls.

The owner of a Co Durham flag manufacturer said there has ‘definitely’ been an increase in demand since England made it to the final.

Mandy Forster, owner of AA Flags in Consett, said that staff worked late last night and were in on Friday at 6am – and had ‘just caught up’ on orders by lunchtime.

Tributes were paid to Bristol City and England fan, Paul 'Scooter' Surridge (pictured on flag above) who passed before Euro 2020

Tributes were paid to Bristol City and England fan, Paul ‘Scooter’ Surridge (pictured on flag above) who passed before Euro 2020

The Kirby housing estate in Bermondsey, south London has hung flags in celebration of England at major footballing tournaments since 2012

The Kirby housing estate in Bermondsey, south London has hung flags in celebration of England at major footballing tournaments since 2012

Hundreds of England flags have been put up across the street in Torrington Avenue, Bristol

Is this England’s most patriotic street? Hundreds of flags have been put up across Torrington Avenue, Bristol

Whilst another flagmaker, Jo Ashburner – who runs Red Dragon Flagmakers, said she has seen an uptick in orders for custom flags and hand-stitched versions for families as mementos for the tournament.

Ms Forster, who set up the family-run business in 1992, ‘welcomed’ the extra work as it is linked closely with the hospitality industry and was closed for six months last year when its orders dried up during lockdown.

Ms Forster said: ‘We are making plain ones, some with people’s postcode on them, pub names. We have definitely made more than usual.

‘Yesterday alone we made about 180 St George flags as opposed to three or four a day, it was ridiculous and we could not make them fast enough.

‘We also do bunting and a lot of those have sold.’

She added: ‘With this particular Euro competition, even before they got through to the final, we have sold more flags that we usually would.

‘I think it is down to everybody needing something to celebrate at the minute.

‘The outside of pubs need cheering up and they need to invite people in and to make the place look happy and celebratory.

‘People in general just want to have a good time and celebrate.’

She said that eight of its 22 staff were brought back from furlough in recent months in time for the Euro 2020 rush.

Residents spent several days putting up bunting and laying the flags over their balconies, on street lamps and sticking them to the estate's walls

Residents spent several days putting up bunting and laying the flags over their balconies, on street lamps and sticking them to the estate’s walls

Ms Ashburner said she too has seen a spike in sales during the competition.

She said: ‘We are a Wales-based flag making company, making everything from scratch in our Swansea workshop.

‘During the past few weeks have been stretched to capacity making flags for Wales, England and Italy in particular – as there’s a big Italian contingent in Wales.’

The founder added: ‘Historically fans ask for economy flags, a quick fix for a short-lived moment but in a surprising turn this year we’ve been asked for more of the custom quality printed flags.

‘We’ve even seen an upsurge in calls for the more expensive fully stitched traditional quality flags in both customised and generic format.’

Flags at online giant Amazon fall under its garden and outdoor products category.

In the past 24 hours, since England won a place in the final, sales of a £7.99 St George’s flag have soared.

The 2.5ft x 1.6ft flag, which is billed as ‘perfect for English celebrations’, is up to ninth in Amazon’s ‘movers and shakers’ rankings for items in its garden and outdoors products.

Amazon could not give details as to how many flags had been sold.

It is the ninth biggest gainer in sales when 24 hours ago it was the 568th.

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