Celebrities, former players and royalty have been praising the England team for their "beautiful World Cup run", calling them "heroes" who have made the country proud.

The Three Lions lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semi-final, bringing to an end a journey that inspired – and surprised – many fans.

But despite the heartbreak, they and manager Gareth Southgate have reconnected many people with the national team.

F1 driver Hamilton wrote on Twitter that the team had done England proud, showing real grit and determination.

He added: You should hold you heads up high.

Pundit and former England star Gary Lineker said he was utterly choked but the young side gave absolutely everything.

It’s a huge step forward and they’ll only get better in the future, he tweeted.

Former national goalkeeper Peter Shilton said the missed first-half chances were costly but told fans to remember how far the team had come.

Rio Ferdinand posted a heartfelt video telling the team: You have united the country and go home as heroes.

Prince William wrote from the Kensington Palace Twitter feed that he couldn’t be more proud of the England players, adding: You’ve had an incredible World Cup, made history and gave us fans something to believe in.

Politicians also added their praise, with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeting: A heartbreaking way to go out but won’t forget what a great tournament it’s been for England.

They should be extremely proud. We certainly are.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the team had a great journey that’s made the country proud.

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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also said the team had made the whole country proud.

TV host James Corden tweeted in response to someone who said that England’s captain had let the team down: Nobody let anybody down. Not one member of our squad.

David Baddiel, part of the Three Lions anthem that found new life during the tournament, thanked the team for a beautiful World Cup run.

Comedian and actor Jack Whitehall said he was bitterly disappointed but that England had over-achieved and given fans a great summer

(c) Sky News 2018: ‘Heads high’: Stars praise England heroes after World Cup run