Prince William Honors Queen in 1st Speech Since Her Death

A moving tribute. Prince WilliamHonored his grandmother Queen Elizabeth IIIn a speech to the United for Wildlife Global Summit.

“Our natural world is one of our greatest assets,” the Prince of Wales, 40, began on Tuesday, October 4, in London. “It is a lesson I learned from a young age, from my father and my grandfather, both committed naturalists in their own right, and also from my much-missed grandmother, who cared so much for the natural world.”

The Duke of Cambridge continued: “In times of loss, it is a comfort to honor those we miss through the work we do. And I take great comfort then from the progress we are making to end the illegal wildlife trade.”

The occasion marked William’s first speech since the queen’s death at age 96 on September 8, as well as his first speech as the Prince of Wales. The title was passed to the Duke of Cornwall. King Charles IIIHis father, 73, was succeeded to the throne.

Prince William attends United for Wildlife Global Summit
Paul Grover/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

The Royal Foundation and United for Wildlife were founded in 2014 by an ex-military pilot. Their goal is to protect wildlife from illegal trade.

“There are still too many criminals who believe they can act with impunity,” the prince said on Tuesday. “I call on all of you here today, those involved in United for Wildlife and further afield, keep breaking the mold. Keep building bridges, and making those game-changing relationships. Keep believing that this is a crime that can be ended once and for all.”

William was due to speak at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit last month in New York City. However, he cancelled his appearance after Elizabeth’s death. Instead, he spoke via video message to the summit.

“Although it is the saddest of circumstances that means I cannot join you in person today, I am pleased to join you in video form as you gather in New York for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit,” he said on September 21. “During this time of grief, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to the Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve.”

Two days after the queen’s death, William reflected on his grandmother’s legacy in an emotional statement. “On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute,” he said. “I, however, have lost a grandmother. While I will mourn her loss, I am also incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of the queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade.”

After a funeral at Westminster Abbey, the former sovereign was laid down to rest on September 19, at Windsor Castle. She was buried with her late husband, Prince Philip (who died in April 2021 at the age of 99).