Remembering the Queen. In his first public speech since becoming the Prince of Wales, Prince William honored Queen Elizabeth II while speaking at the United for Wildlife Globe Summit on Tuesday, October 4. 

“Our natural world is one of our greatest assets,” said William, 40, who used his platform to advocate for animals threatened by poachers – something that has been important to the royal family for generations. “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 continued: “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.”

The Duke of Cornwall has long been involved in protecting and conserving wildlife, having founded United for Wildlife in 2014. Noting in his speech that it’s a “difficult mission that we commit ourselves to,” William went on to explain why his work with his foundation is so important to him.

 “We set out to ensure that those involved in wildlife crime face an international response as powerful and coordinated as any other serious and organized crime,” he said. “To bring their sinister operations out of the shadows and to ensure that communities are equipped, empowered and supported to protect themselves and their natural world.”

William’s speech at the United for Wildlife Globe Summit comes less than a month after Queen Elizabeth died on September 8. She was 96 years old. 

The world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute. So much will be said in the days ahead about her historic reign,” William wrote in a statement via his and wife Princess Kate’s joint Instagram account at the time.

Prince William Queen Elizabeth II
David Crump/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

“I, however, lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of the Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade,” he continued. “She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.” 

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at