Prince William has responded to criticism of his work ethic in a rare interview in which he announced an ambitious plan to stop illegal poaching in Africa.
The prince, who works for the East Anglian Air Ambulance 20 hours per week, was accused of being ‘work shy’ by British reporters after it was revealed he was working two thirds the amount of full time employees and only made 122 official appearances last year – half that of his grandfather Prince Philip.
William called the bad press “part of the job”, and said he had been spending time working on a “game changing” plan to clamp down on poaching.
“Well, these sorts of things take a lot of time, they take a lot of planning and a lot of knowledge building, a lot of conversations,” he told ITV.
“I didn’t want to get to 45 or 50 and sit back and say I could have said something about that issue but I didn’t because I worried about what people thought or what people said.”
Angering some, the prince also said there was room in Africa for commercial hunting, despite it not being “everyone’s cup of tea”.
The second in line to the throne told ITV he would love to see his two young children George and Charlotte interacting with animals in Africa someday.
“They’d have a wonderful time,” he said.
“And I can see George being a bit of a bum sometimes out in the conservation world with his bangles and his sandals.”
The prince announced the Buckingham Palace Declaration, a new initiative between shipping companies such as DHL, Air China, Emirates, Etihad, Maersk and South African Airways, which have all signed a pledge to help stop the export and import of illegally-poached animals.
“If we allow current trends to continue, there will be no African elephants or rhinos left in the wild by the time my daughter Charlotte reaches her 25th birthday.”