Prince William shows off his football skills on the queen's lawn
October 7, 2013 -- Updated 2020 GMT (0420 HKT)
Prince William shows off his footballing skills during a training session on the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
- Prince William shows off his football skills
- Takes part in training session on a specially laid pitch at Buckingham Palace
- Pitch was used for a match between two historic English football teams
- The Duke of Cambridge is President of English Football Association
(CNN) -- "I cannot tell you how excited I am that later today we will be playing football on my grandmother's lawn. One warning, though: if anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her."
The Duke of Cambridge was speaking just before the first official football match at Buckingham Palace.
Prince William, the heir to the British throne, is President of the English Football Association (FA), a role he says is an extension of a personal passion:
"The beautiful game has changed an awful lot during the queen's reign, but it remains the most loved game in the country, most probably the world," he said.
He describes football as "a chance to escape with friends and family and enjoy its virtues -- teamwork, competition, endeavor and, more occasionally on my part, skill."
On Monday he had a chance to show off those skills on the specially prepared pitch at the Palace.
Wearing boots given to him by Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney, he joined members of the queen's household team in a training session.
Read: By royal command: Football comes to Buckingham Palace
Prince William is a fan of English Premier League side Aston Villa but he chose two teams from lower leagues to play a full 90-minute match on the royal grounds to mark the 150th anniversary of the FA.
Civil Service FC is the only surviving member of the FA formed in 1863, and Polytechnic FC was formed slightly later in 1875.
But the day was really about rewarding the unsung heroes of the national game: "Grassroots football thrives on the support of its volunteers week after week," he said.
Many of those volunteers were invited to the palace to see the match.
There was nothing but praise for the royal groundsmen who spent weeks getting the garden match-fit.
Watch: Max Foster interviews Prince William
This is a space normally graced only by family members and the odd garden party. It has its own unique challenges for a city center garden.
The park-like space is a flourishing habitat for wildlife including a large gaggle of geese whose droppings litter the entire space at this time of year.
The groundsmen spent much of the morning cleaning up the football pitch with a vacuum cleaner.
They then swept away the carpet of leaves away with wooden brooms.
But the fact the Queen was away did provide one advantage: "There shouldn't be any corgis running on to the pitch," Prince William joked.
Now the historic match is over (Polytechnic won 2-1) the corgis and geese have their garden back.
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
After a miserable Champions League defeat to Olympiakos, CNN's John Sinnott wonders if Manchester United is officially in trouble.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
CNN's David Ford analyzes the changing face of Manchester City since Barcelona's last visit to the English club 11 years ago.
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
A ruling that Polish fans will not face legal action after anti-Semitic chanting sparks debate over whether it signals acceptance of such attacks.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
If FIFA really cared about gay rights, why did it give the World Cup to a country where homosexuality is illegal, asks CNN's James Masters.
CNN's Alex Thomas takes a brave punt on the 2014 champion ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.
Today's five most popular stories