Prince William marked an important milestone on Tuesday by giving his first official speech as Prince of Wales. However, just like so many others, the prince’s dearly departed grandmother was on his mind. Here’s how the queen’s legacy is guiding the prince in his new role.
Prince William Attends United For Wildlife Global Summit
As the Prince of Wales, William continues to champion causes near and dear to his heart. During his first public speech in his new position, the prince used his platform to support teams dedicated to stopping poaching and preserving wildlife. The prince spoke at an event for United for Wildlife, an organization Prince William himself founded in 2014 as a part of the Royal Foundation.
At the event, William explained how the illegal wildlife trade is worth up to $20 billion, and United for Wildlife aims to shed light on the “sinister” operations. “While we do not have the luxury of time, clearly we do have a proven roadmap to success and the motivation to put it into action,” the prince explained.
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“I hope you all leave here today energized and motivated to intensify this work. Because there are still too many criminals who believe they can act with impunity, too many lives being destroyed, and too many species on the brink of extinction due to this heinous crime.”
Prince William Draws Inspiration From His Family
Despite the intensity of his cause, William made sure to pay subtle tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II in his speech. He noted that his family members—both departed and still with us—share his deep concern for wildlife. “Our natural world is one of our greatest assets,” the Prince of Wales said. “It is a lesson I learned from a young age, from my father and grandfather, both committed naturalists in their own right, and also from my much-missed grandmother, who cared so much for the natural world.”
He even acknowledged that such important causes help get him through times of grief. “In times of loss, it is a comfort to honor those we miss through the work we do. I take great comfort then from the progress we are making to end the illegal wildlife trade,” he added.
It’s clear that, although the queen is gone, she is still guiding her grandson as he fulfills his new, prominent public role. Just as both Queen Elizabeth and King Charles have made sure to prioritize their charity work, it’s clear William will have no trouble keeping his focus on what matters, even in times of strife.