William pays tribute to ‘much-missed grandmother’ in first speech since Queen’s death

Prince William has paid tribute to his "much-missed grandmother" the Queen as he delivered his first speech since the death of the late Monarch today.

William, 40, who is now heir to the throne following the death of Elizabeth II, addressed the United for Wildlife (UfW) global summit at the Science Museum in London as he spoke about the effects of illegal wildlife crime.

In his speech, he also made a touching mention of his late grandfather Prince Phillip, as well as William's father, King Charles, who he described as "both committed naturalists".

He said: “Our natural world is one of our greatest assets. It is a lesson I learnt 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.

William continued: “In times of loss, it is a comfort to honour 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 late Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away in April 2021, was very knowledgeable about the natural world, as well as a committed campaigner for it and president of the World Wildlife Fund charity.

The late Queen was known for her love of all things nature, and she was the patron of numerous trusts and charities.

In his keynote speech – on a topic he has long campaigned on – William warned that illegal wildlife crime is destroying too many lives and pushing too many species towards extinction.

In July, William paid tribute to “committed and brave” ranger Anton Mzimba, who was reportedly shot and killed outside his home.

William called for those responsible for the death of the conservationist, who worked in South Africa, to be “swiftly brought to justice”.

Mr Mzimba was head of ranger services at Timbavati private game reserve in north-east South Africa, near the Kruger National Park.

He spoke to William via video link last autumn, when the royal visited a technology company to learn about a new device to combat ivory smugglers.

Ahead of his speech on Tuesday, William met Altin Gysman from the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC), who was a friend and colleague of Mr Mzimba.

William described the death as a “shocking moment” and referred to rangers being “on the front line”.

The prince said: “There’s a front line and that’s the worrying thing. There’s a war going on and everyone doesn’t really see it.”

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