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  • King Charles III praises the ‘magnificent Matildas’
  • Rescue plane flew over lost Australians five times
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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King Charles III praises the ‘magnificent Matildas’

King Charles III has praised the “magnificent Matildas” in a message following the World Cup semi-final in Sydney, telling both teams they’ve inspired their nations with their performances.

The King also sent his “warmest congratulations” from all the royal family, hailing the “mighty Lionesses” and the Australian team as an “inspiration on and off the pitch”.

It is the first time England’s Lionesses have reached the final of a women’s World Cup, and the first time an England football team has competed in a World Cup final since the men’s side beat West Germany in 1966.

Sam Kerr and Mackenzie Arnold after the final whistle.Credit: AP

“While your victory may have cost the magnificent Matildas their chance for the greatest prize in the game, both teams have been an inspiration on and off the pitch – and, for that, both nations are united in pride, admiration and respect,” he wrote in a note signed Charles R.

At the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, the Band of the Welsh Guards, showed its support for both teams by playing Waltzing Matilda for Australia Sweet Caroline for the England squad.

William, the Prince of Wales, who is president of the Football Association, will not fly to Australia to witness the clash against Spain on Sunday, Kensington Palace confirmed.

It was reported he made the decision not to travel to the Lionesses’ final because the trip would involve flying across the world for a very short period of time, and there were other ways he could show support for the team.

He has made tackling climate change one of his priorities, launching the Earthshot Prize to find solutions to repair and regenerate the earth.

William, who is on his summer break, wrote on social media: “What a phenomenal performance from the @Lionesses – on to the final!

“Commiserations to @TheMatildas, you’ve played brilliantly and been fantastic co-hosts of this World Cup. W”

Queen Elizabeth II attended the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley and presented captain Bobby Moore with the trophy.

Rescue plane flew over lost Australians five times

Stranded on surfboards in the ocean west of Indonesian Sumatra, four Australian tourists and an Indonesian crew saw a rescue plane flying above them five times during the 36 hours they were missing.

Frantically, they waved everything they could at the aircraft – their arms, their life jackets, even their surfboards – but on each occasion, excruciatingly, the plane moved away and out of sight again.

“They were flying too high [and] they didn’t notice us in the water,” said resort manager Junardi Akhmad, who had been escorting the Australians and was also lost at sea when the wooden longboat they were in struck a storm on Sunday and began to take on water.

“We used our life jackets, and we used the surfboards to try to get them to see us, but they couldn’t.”

Read more from our reporters in Indonesia about the rescue. 

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company.

It’s Thursday, August 17. I’m Caroline Schelle, and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • National cabinet has backed a deal on housing that sets a new target to build 1.2 million homes over five years, with the promise of $3 billion in federal incentives.
  • A shattering 3-1 defeat to England has knocked the Matildas out of World Cup contention, but they still go up against Sweden for third place.
  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Defence Minister Richard Marles are seeking formal endorsement for the AUKUS deal from the Labor Party faithful.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with NSW Premier Chris Minns and NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

  • Independent senator and prominent anti-Voice campaigner Lidia Thorpe has called on Anthony Albanese to ditch the referendum.
  • Ninety per cent of Victorian government agencies were targeted in cyberattacks last year, exposing critical services to serious disruption, the state’s auditor general has found.
  • The NSW planning department is conducting an urgent review of recent development approvals handed to building giant Walker Corp after a former secretary started a role at the company.
  • And overseas, the British Museum has fired staff after precious objects including gold jewellery and gems went missing.
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