The investiture ceremony comes one day after Prince William joined family to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's plans to step down as senior royals

By Stephanie Petit
January 14, 2020 11:19 AM
Kensington Palace/Instagram

Prince William was back to work on Tuesday — and impressing with his language skills!

The royal dad hosted an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on behalf of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, where he presented TV personality and deaf translator Alex Duguid with an MBE for his services to the deaf community and to British Sign Language education.

In a special touch, Prince William used British Sign Language to praise Duguid. The royal signed, “Congratulations, Alex,” as seen in a video shared by Kensington Palace, to which the honoree responded, “Thank you” by signing.

Duguid has been the face of popular British TV shows Emmerdale and Coronation Street, translating for deaf audiences for decades.

“He is an example of how profoundly deaf people can have an impact on their community, their peers and their country,” according to the post on Kensington Palace’s Instagram. “He is passionate about BSL and the need to promote and protect it.”

This isn’t the first time Prince William, 37, has surprised audiences with his language abilities. In addition to speaking in native languages on tours and visits, the royal broke into Swahili to chat with young Diana Award honoree from Tanzania, Africa. The young man attended a Kensington Palace reception for the award winners, meeting William and Kate Middleton.

“[William] had time with all 20 and had read up in their stories,” Tessy Ojo, Chief executive of the Diana Award charity, tells PEOPLE. “One of the young people is from Tanzania, and he started talking to him in Swahili — and this young boy was gobsmacked! It wasn’t just one sentence. This was not something he had just read out of a book. It was truly special.”

Prince William
Courtesy The Diana Awards

The investiture ceremony comes just one day after Prince William joined grandmother Queen Elizabeth, father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry to discuss the bombshell announcement that Harry and Meghan Markle were planning on stepping down as senior royals.

The 93-year-old monarch released a rare and emotional statement shortly after the meeting came to a close.

“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the Queen said in a statement. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

Prince Harry and Prince William
Karwai Tang/WireImage

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Harry and William also on Monday denied a U.K. newspaper’s story that the rift between the brothers was allegedly caused by William’s “bullying.” In a joint statement obtained by PEOPLE, the brothers insisted that the story, which was run by the Times of London, was false.

“Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a U.K. newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge,” the statement said. “For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”