Opening up for a good cause!
Prince William gave an unusually long and personal speech on Tuesday at the Charity Commission Annual Public Meeting. The 35-year-old Duke of Cambridge touched on his family’s influence in how he raised his two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and his approach to charitable work.
“I thought I’d start with something personal -- a tribute to my parents. I have two children as you probably know (I gather it has been widely reported),” he quipped to the crowd. “When I first became a father about four and half years ago, I began a process of thinking about the way I had been brought up, and the values that my parents had instilled in me.”
He noted that he hadn’t intended to soul search, saying “As any parent will know, this process is not necessarily one that you undertake consciously - you find that certain values and habits, ones that you didn’t know you had, start bubbling up to the surface. Some of my earliest memories relate to times that my parents spoke to me or -- even better -- showed me what it meant to have both privilege and responsibilities.”
William first spoke of his mother, the late Princess Diana, who was known for her charity work. The family marked the 20th anniversary of her death last year.
“I remember being taken by my mother to a homelessness shelter at a young age, her explaining to me why the people I met there matter; why no society can be healthy unless we take other people seriously,” he said.
“From my father, I learned how central charity was to his life his sense of purpose,” William added of Prince Charles. “The Prince’s Trust is not an arms-length organization for my father. He cares deeply about The Prince's Trust because it is a living projection of his values. As a young child, I recall evening after evening my father's diligence and compassion as he applied himself to answering thousands of letters and reading endless reports in order to stay on top of his ambition to do all he could to help the underprivileged.”
William went on to note that Prince Charles was instilled with the same sense of duty and purpose from his own parents – William’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
“My grandfather Prince Philip has been one of the most tireless public servants of this country, deeply committed to helping young people fulfil their potential. My grandmother The Queen has never given a Christmas broadcast without paying tribute to charitable organizations, volunteers and people who care for others,” he noted. “My family have not done this because it looks good -- they do it because charity is not an optional extra in society.”
William then called for charity organizations to collaborate for what he believes will be a more effective outcome. While the Duke was giving his speech, his wife, Kate Middleton, made an appearance at the Roe Junior School in Brent, London.
The Duchess of Cambridge launched the Mentally Healthy Schools online resource to help teachers get access to the best support for their students.