Prince William resolves not to ‘pass the baton’ to his children ‘apologizing’ for lack of action as he discusses vital issue

The Prince of Wales reflected on 'turbulent times' as he attended the 10th annual Tusk Conservation Awards at Hampton Court Palace

Prince William resolves not to 'pass the baton', seen attending the Tusk Conservation Awards 2022
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Prince William resolved not to “pass the baton” to his children and future grandchildren “apologizing” for a lack of action as he discussed a vital issue.  


Stepping out on November 1, Prince William made his first appearance at the annual Tusk Conservation Awards since he became Prince of Wales. The Prince, who is first in the royal line of succession, has been Patron of Tusk (opens in new tab) since 2005 and this 10th award ceremony was held at Hampton Court Palace. It honored the extraordinary people who remain steadfastly dedicated to the preservation of Africa’s wildlife. Guests included everyone from nominees, sponsors and past winners to Tusk Ambassadors Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden and comedian Rory Bremner. 

During the ceremony, Prince William resolved not to “pass the baton” for protecting the natural world to his children and future grandchildren as he delivered a powerful speech urging us to remain focused despite “turbulent times”.

Prince William, Prince of Wales speaks to guests at the Tusk Conservation Awards

(Image credit: Frank Augstein - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“We are living through turbulent times and it is all too easy to lose sight of how critical it is that we look after our natural world,” he declared. “But we must remain focused on investing in nature and the environment, protecting it for future generations. We must not pass on the baton to our children and grandchildren, apologizing for our lack of collective action.”

His admirable focus on remaining committed to conservation and not ignoring the sense of responsibility he feels for it came as Prince William remarked upon how “frightening” the decline of the Earth’s species truly is. 

And he quoted none other than the UK’s most iconic natural historian and conservation activist, Sir David Attenborough, as he made this important point.  

Miguel Goncalves, Neddy Mulimo, David Dabellen, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Dismas Partalala, Achilles Byaruhanga and Ian Craig attend the Tusk Conservation Awards 2022

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Tusk)

As per the Evening Standard (opens in new tab), the Prince of Wales shared, “As Sir David Attenborough reminded us at this ceremony five years ago, Africa’s wildlife is truly special. What the Awards alumni, their dedicated teams and local communities are protecting is ‘one of the great natural treasures of the world.”

“And yet, we also know that it is just a fragment of what there once was. That is why it is vital that we do everything in our power to halt the frightening decline in species that our planet has witnessed over the last 50 years.”

He also paid powerful tribute to those who work on the frontline of conservation who too often “pay the ultimate price” with their lives.

“The work that rangers and game scouts do as nature’s guardians is truly remarkable,” he said. “They inspire the next generation to love and respect nature and they teach our children about the fragility of the natural world.”

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, accompanied by their parents the Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a settling in afternoon at Lambrook School

(Image credit: Photo by Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images)

This significant occasion came a year after the royal opened up previously about his children in relation to the future of the planet, with Prince William saying Prince George gets “annoyed” and “confused” when people litter. He revealed to BBC’s Newscast that his son had been doing litter picking at school and “couldn’t understand” why there was always more to be picked up. 

"If we're not careful, we're robbing from our children's future,” Prince William shared. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.