Rarely-Seen Photo of Prince Philip Released as He Passes Down Honor to Grandson Prince William
Prince William has been granted two new patronages from his royal grandparents.
William, 38, is now the patron of two wildlife conservation organizations that were handed down by his grandmother Queen Elizabeth and grandfather Prince Philip — adding to his ongoing campaign to aid and protect the natural world.
The royal has been given the Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), aligning with his “longstanding work around conservation and support for communities protecting their natural environment for future generations,” his office at Kensington Palace says.
The Queen, 94, and Philip, 99, have been passing along some of their patronages to senior royal family members in recent years so the organizations can move forward with younger figureheads.
To mark the event, Philip’s office at Buckingham Palace released two rarely-seen images of the royal on a trip from 1956 to 1957 that inspired his own commitment to preserving wildlife and habitats.
Philip’s journey took him to the southern Pacific Ocean, between New Zealand and the Antarctic, and is said by the palace to be when his “fascination with ornithology was born.” He was the first member of the Royal Family to cross the Antarctic Circle.
This trip, and a second ocean voyage across the Central Pacific in 1959, inspired his book, Birds from Britannia, which was published 1962, and from which the newly-released photos were taken.
His “interest in ornithology has continued throughout his career, with His Royal Highness taking the opportunity to study birds in the wild while on visits around the world, including Africa, Iceland, South America, Canada, and the Galapagos Islands,” the palace adds.
The Queen had been patron of FFI for almost 70 years. The organization focuses on protecting biodiversity, which underpins healthy ecosystems and is critical for the life-support systems that humans and all other species rely on. It also works to protect threatened species and ecosystems around the world, helping find solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and that enhance human well-being – and it is also a founding member of Prince William’s United for Wildlife.
The news comes just weeks after William launched his new Earthshot Prize, which is supported by United for Wildlife, among other like-minded organizations.
In a statement, Mark Rose, Chief Executive Officer of FFI, praised the Queen’s “stalwart support to FFI.”
He adds, “We look forward to building on her legacy and taking the relationship forward with her grandson. The Duke of Cambridge is a wonderful ambassador for conservation and there is a great deal of synergy between his own and FFI’s vision for the future of the planet.”
Dr. Andy Clements, BTO Chief Executive, added his delight that William is to follow “on from his grandfather who worked so tirelessly on our behalf. We hope that we will be able to support The Duke [of Cambridge’s] strong interest in protecting the environment through our evidence-based work around environmental issues in the UK.”