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Prince William makes impassioned first speech as Prince of Wales paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth

Prince William has praised his late grandmother in his first significant speech as the Prince of Wales and vowed to do his part to stop the illegal wildlife trade.

Our natural world is one of our greatest assets, William said, describing how the Queen, the King, and the Duke of Edinburgh had all influenced his passion for conservation.

It’s a lesson I picked up early on from my father and grandfather, who were both ardent naturalists in their own right, as well as from my dearly departed grandmother, who had a deep love for the environment. It is consoling to remember those we miss through our work during difficult times.


William spoke of his much-missed grandmother
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300 influential figures from business, conservation, and law enforcement joined William at the United For Wildlife Global Summit at the Science Museum in London as a show of force against organized wildlife crime.

In order to safeguard endangered species from the scourge of criminal gangs that profit US$20 billion annually from the illegal wildlife trade, the Prince founded UFW through his charitable organization The Royal Foundation in 2014.

The organization has contributed to nearly 200 seizures of wildlife products worldwide and more than 450 law enforcement cases by using specialized transport and financial task forces to dismantle those networks.

The harms of the illegal wildlife trade, William continued, “are often directly felt by the most vulnerable communities. It is a crime that deprives us all of our most priceless natural resources, funds organized crime, and harms us all.


It was Prince William’s first speech as Prince Wales
Photo: Getty Images


Too many criminals continue to believe they can commit crimes without consequence, too many lives are lost, and too many species are in danger of going extinct as a result of this heinous crime.

The Prince also paid respect to Anton Mzimba, the Timbavati reserve’s chief ranger who was assassinated in July.

Despite life threats, he has continued to excel professionally,” William said. He confronted violent offenders and paid the ultimate price. He deserves our respect, as do all the other selfless rangers and active conservationists present today. Furthermore, it is only fitting that we continue to work hard and with renewed vigor in order to honor him.

William hailed the five-year prison term of Ugandan wildlife trafficker Moazu Kromah for conspiring to traffic more than US$7 million worth of rhino horn and elephant ivory, which involved the illegal poaching of about 135 animals, as “a significant victory” weeks prior to the summit.


Prince William and Prince Harry pictured at their grandmother’s funeral
Photo: Getty Images


Lord Hague, the chairman of the Royal Foundation, Stephen Kavanagh, the executive director of Interpol, and Jon Godson, the associate director of the International Air Transport Association, were among those who attended the summit with the Prince. The East and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, which consists of 19 countries, and UFW have partnered, according to William, making it the first global public-private partnership for a financial crime.

“We set out to make sure that those who commit crimes against wildlife face an international response as strong and coordinated as any other serious and organized crime,” he continued. to make sure that communities are prepared, empowered, and supported to protect themselves and their environment and to bring their evil operations out of the shadows.

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