Prince William admits he has always "detested bullying in all its forms"

By Simon Perry
Updated June 16, 2016 01:15 PM
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Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Prince William recognized a little of himself in a clumsy robot on Wednesday – and he wasn’t afraid to admit it.

William had a chuckle when Nao, a 2 foot-high robot, fell over while dancing to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” during a tech conference and said, “That’s like me on a Saturday night. Amazing.”

The robot, which was created as a learning tool and might also have use as a companion for autistic children, was part of a demonstration at the Founders Forum in London, which William attended on behalf of a serious subject: his ongoing crusade against cyberbullying.

He is tackling bullying as part of the wide-ranging campaign on mental health.

Addressing the tech firms and entrepreneurs, he said, “From a young age, I have detested bullying in all its forms.

“As Catherine and I started our family a few years ago, I was alarmed about the increasing reports of online bullying that were making headlines around the world.

“From the girls developing eating disorders after being subjected to a campaign of abuse on social media, to the teenage boys who took their own lives following constant targeting – as a parent myself, I was appalled.”

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He said social media “had transformed bullying from something that was not only the torment of the classroom and playground, but something that followed you home as well – to the one safe haven that children should have.”

He added, “To school-age children today, there is no difference between their online and offline lives. Bullying is bullying, wherever it happens.”

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He was invited to speak by chairman of the Founders Forum Brent Hoberman – who also heads William’s cyberbullying task force, which is focused on making it easier for young people to report online bullying and empower parents with the methods to get help.

“The people here have the skills and the creativity to bring it forward,” a royal source explains.

William’s appearance came a day after he highlighted homophobic bullying via a piece in Attitude magazine.