Prince William spoke to a young activist who promotes gender equality in soccer when she visited Kensington Palace

By Simon Perry
November 28, 2019 08:20 AM
Princess Charlotte and Prince George
Kensington Palace/PA Wire

Prince William offered rare insight into how he intervenes over the sibling rivalry that crops up at home.

The dad of three has been urging his son Prince George, 6, to treat sister Princess Charlotte, 4, equally when they are playing soccer together in the palace garden.

William spoke to a young activist who promotes gender equality in the game when she visited Kensington Palace on Tuesday. “He said, ‘When George and Charlotte play football, George gets Charlotte to go in goal because he says he is better.’  But Prince William says to him, ‘Charlotte could be as good as you, George, so give her the same chances,’” says Olivia Hancock, 14.

“I think that was really good as it shows Prince William is standing up for equality as well. He is doing something for women in sport.”

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Olivia, who received a Legacy honor from the Diana Award charity, is a dedicated charity worker and uses her love of football to campaign against sexism in the sport. “I want women to be treated the same in the game,” she says.

Olivia was pictured laughing with William, 37, during the reception, which took place before the awards ceremony that evening.

Kensington Palace/Twitter

She explains to PEOPLE what the lighthearted moment was about. “Prince William said ‘Olivia, it would be good to have a dribbling competition.’ So, I said, ‘I can’t do it right now because I’ve got these heels on.’ He said, ‘You need to go and teach George and Charlotte some football.’ ”

William is a keen Aston Villa supporter — and recently took his older two children to watch the team. “When he asked me about my football team, I said I support Exeter. And he said, ‘Do you support a Premier League team?’ And I said, ‘No, but for you I will support Aston Villa!’”

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“It was so nice. He was so like down-to-earth and made time for each of us and for us to tell our stories and what we do. He listened to all of us and every word we said and was really interested. He said that his mother would have been really proud of us.”

Olivia’s philanthropy started at the age of just 7 after she read a book about a girl with a brain tumor who was the same age. She felt she needed to do something and started raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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At the time of the soccer World Cup in Brazil in 2014, she wrote a song to raise money for the cancer charity. When an organization that helps the homeless in Brazil heard about that, she was asked to help, and she has been over there to deliver some new clothes.

Olivia also met with Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, on Tuesday. He told her he is going to put her in touch his wife Karen, whose non-profit, Whole Child International, helps change the lives of children living in care around the world.

“Princess Diana was such an inspiration to everyone. She was such a kind and caring person,” Olivia says.

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