Prince William summoned a government minister to his palace to discuss ivory

The Duke Of Cambridge Opens The Remembrance Centre In Derby

I feel like Prince William is really trying to change the narrative around his royal life this year. Swiss chalet shenanigans aside, William wants to be seen as someone very Serious, someone with Very Important Things To Say. Which is not unlike Prince Charles, actually. Charles always wanted to be seen as someone very thoughtful and intellectual, and I would argue that Charles actually IS a very thoughtful, intellectual, dry sort of person. I would argue that William is not that guy though. William seems more like a brat who is used to stomping his feet and whining when someone doesn’t agree with him. He doesn’t seem like the go-to guy for thoughtful, detail-oriented debates. So, funny story. This week, William summoned a government minister to Kensington Palace to basically lobby the minister on the subject of the ivory trade.

Prince William has summoned a Government minister Andrea Leadsom to Kensington Palace for a private meeting over an issue close to his heart. The Environment Secretary has become the first minister to be invited for talks with the Duke of Cambridge, as he seeks to use his position to pile pressure on the Government over his thoughts on ivory trade. The pair were both in Vietnam last November to attend the illegal Wildlife Trade Conference.

Andrea Leadsom announced last month she would allow ivory carved antiques from before 1947 to be continued to be sold. This is despite a Tory 2015 election promise to “press for a total ban on ivory sales”. And now critics, including the second heir to the throne, are worried this will encourage illegal poaching of the African elephant.

Prince William has been campaigning over the endangered African elephant for some years. During a Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in November last year, he said: “We need governments to send a clear signal that trading in ivory is abhorrent.”

He also spoke about ivory trade at a Time for Change in September last year. The Duke said: “We have the chance to say that ivory is a symbol of destruction, not of luxury, and not something that anyone need s to buy or sell.”

A Prime Minister spokesman added: “We will seek views from all parties on how and when we introduce the ban on ivory.”

[From Express]

I think the ivory trade is deplorable too, and the whole thing is such a huge tragedy for the African and Indian elephants. But! William’s family has a collection of ivory pieces. Lots of people (myself included) have ivory pieces which are pre-1947 (I inherited mine). I get that ivory traders will use the “pre-1947” loophole to sell new ivory, and that’s what William wanted to discuss. So… I mean, I guess we should say “good for him for using his influence for something.” But I also sort of hate the optics of this: William making a government employee come to his palace so he can pontificate about how ivory is bad.

Also: Page Six reports that some American families are disappointed that William and Kate are sending George to Thomas’s Battersea in the fall. People expected George to go to Wetherby, which has an American campus and some Americans thought that by enrolling their kids in the NY school, they would have a royal connection. Oh well.

The Duke Of Cambridge Opens The Remembrance Centre In Derby

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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76 Responses to “Prince William summoned a government minister to his palace to discuss ivory”

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  1. HeidiM says:

    I guess I’ll be the asshole that says it. Ain’t there bigger things going on in England right now? Like Breixt and stuff?

    • Olenna says:

      I agree, so make that 2 assholes.

    • Becky says:

      Me 3rd, that was my 1st thought. The govt, Parliament and civic service are going to be v busy transferring EU to U.K. law over the next 2 yrs, and a minister is having her time wasted being summoned to K Palace.

    • Megan says:

      The world is bigger than Brexit and time is running out for elephants. I actually agree with William on banning the sale of antique ivory pieces. As long as there is any form of legal trade, illegal items will be laundered into it.

      Now, is William an effective spokesperson for this issue? IDK, attending the occasional wildlife conference seems pretty minimal to me.

      • addie says:

        That was my question too. I don’t believe William is an effective advocate for this initiative. He attends the occasional conference, reads out the occasional speech… but in the next breath, goes off hunting animals for sport. He says really dumb things about hunting older animals. All of this undoes all and any efforts to champion the plight of elephants.

        Willliam is a middle-aged brat, not too bright and has massive entitlement issues. He’s a legend in his own mind but simply can’t perform: a hopeles student at uni, almost got thrown out of the RAF, didn’t complete his bespoke Cambridge course, doesn’t do much at EAAA. He likes the idea of these things but just doesn’t put in sufficient effort. Same goes for conservation.

    • Lady D says:

      He summoned a minister to his palace. When was he given a palace? How did I miss this?

  2. Realitycheck says:

    He’s idiotic. This annoys me to no end because there are people out there actually trying to make a difference in the ivory trade. William will just go hunting on some random trip afterwards.

  3. COSquared says:

    Windsors and hunting: Do as we say, and not as we do. This person moans about endangered wildlife here in Africa but has no qualms about killing some himself. Hypocrite with a capital H.

    • LAK says:

      Also has no qualms about trophy hunting especially if the animals are old, because apparently old = useless and deserves to be hunted.

      • Redgrl says:

        LAK – my thoughts exactly re the hypocrisy!

      • TryingToThink says:

        Elephants die at some point of natural causes. What about their ivory?

        I get that allowing ivory to be traded would result in poachers keeping up hunting elephants.

        Old = useless is an argument from pro-hunting parties and the Royal Family tends to accept that argument. They also accept hunting as a form of population control.
        Both arguments are rather hypocritical as both nature taking care of old animals as well as population control happen rather naturally.

        (The only exception might be foreign species introduced to Australia, like rabbits or the aga toad.)

        Both arguments prove two things about the Royal Family:
        – They won’t let science get in the way of their aristo traditions of killing animals. They kill because it is their right to do so.
        – They believe themselves to be allmighty Lords of the Land and its caretakers. They tend to believe that the land would “die” without their care. All of that is a rather medieval point of view and attitude.

    • Karen says:

      I believe he is extremely compartmentalized.

      He saves endangered animals, while killing boars/birds/deer for fun.
      He wants privacy, but expects to be bowed to as Prince.
      He likes being family man, but also a free lad on the weekend.

      He’s able to be who he needs to be depending on what works for him at that moment.

  4. Meow says:

    When I read about Bill “summoning” people I imagine him neighing… those teeth 😉

    • Citresse says:

      Along with the neighing, we’re punished with another view of the false front tooth. It’s quite visible from a distance IMO.

      • antipodean says:

        I have to confess as well, I thought to myself when I saw that photo, never mind elephant tusks, Bill, you hae a pretty ugly set of tusks yoursel’!
        On a serious note the ivory/exotic animal trade is monstrous, and people who profit from it should be hung, drawn, and quartered in my view. It makes me as furious as people traffickers. What a world we live in!

  5. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    While he continues to hunt NO ONE will take him seriously on the ivory trade or wildlife conservation. He’s naught but a hypocrite. Chuck at least practices what he preaches with things like organic farming etc.. – his Duchy Originals brand is organic.

    I still maintain that he got a kick up the backside by Granny before xmas, hence why he’s suddenly all about changing the narrative around him but it seems just him and not her. He seems only interested in changing HIS image, not their image.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I cannot take William and his anti-ivory campaign seriously. He couldn’t even pay attention on the China/Japan trip. He ignored public cries prior to his visit that the “sanctuary” he was to visit was in fact abusing elephants. When told off-the-cuff in Japan that a certain instrument was traditionally made with ivory parts, he had no response. Not even a, “Have you considered X and Y as alternatives”. When directly confronted with modern use of ivory, he said nothing.

      Once again it boils down to this: saving rhinos and banning the ivory trade are things close to Jecca’s heart. So he signs on to this, but he does it in his usual doesn’t-care-enough-to-learn-anything-or-be-effective kind of way.

  6. Sixer says:

    That will have been a most wonderful meeting of the thick and blind talking to the thick and blind.

    We VERY narrowly escaped Andrea Leadsom becoming our PM. Had the Tory grandees allowed the post Cameron resignation fallout to go to a party vote, she would quite possibly have been our PM. Thankfully, she gobbed off something stupid even for her, and the party managed to arrange it so that there was no vote.

    Instead, her story is like one of your GOP maniac appointments. Theresa the Appeaser made a climate change sceptic our environment secretary. Oh, and she thinks that men should not be allowed into childcare careers in case they turn out to be paedophiles. And there’s plenty more batshittery.

    She probably thinks ivory comes from mines in Africa or something. Even Bill likely knows more about it than she does. BILL!

    • Becky says:

      Oh her?! Who had to drop out the race by effectively saying she was better for leader because she was a mother? Caused abit of a kerfuffle.

      I take back my comment about her time being wasted – and a climate denier as Environment Secretary ffs.

      • Sixer says:

        YES! She is a headbanger. But also the sort who would have been CHUFFED to be summoned to the Palace to talk to a fellow dimwit, I imagine.

      • Becky says:

        Sixer, yep I can imagine.

        Was just on the Guardian, looking up Leadsom, and found this article from December which I missed at the time:

        Number 5, about the Vote Leave campaign if true….those conniving sods.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        @Becky: Re: number 5 in that article. I never thought the leave campaign wanted to win, if the did they would never have had Grove and Johnston leading the charge plus they would have made more of an effort to shut down Farage. They were trolling the UK gov, the EU and the British people. All the Corbyn stuff isn’t new either, he’s been anti EU for that past 30/40 years so of course he wasn’t going to make any effort to campaign to stay and nor he is going to make any effort to stop May’s cliff top ride.

        The campaign on both sides was a bad joke. I can’t watch the news at the moment without becoming really angry at the politicians and the idiotic leave voters.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Sixer, will your work-from-home job transfer to Ireland, if that is where all of you end up?

      • Sixer says:

        It likely would, yes. But we don’t intend to move (unless things get REALLY bad). The aim is to preserve freedom of movement rights for the EU27, particularly for the Sixlets, who may well want to study, work or live in other European countries when they’re adults.

  7. Chaine says:

    That this is his pet cause says so much about him. Yes, there need to be people that protect animals from poaching, but perhaps he should worry for a bit about what is going on in his own country and what the real day-to-day concerns are of his future subjects.

  8. Jessica says:

    This idiot has medals for what?

  9. AfricanBoy says:

    Every time I read articles about the royals I ask myself what’s the point of having a monarchy in the 21st century. It’s not like people really care about them or their opinions anymore, people stopped fawning over them a few years ago. They respect TQ, yeah but that’s it.

    • Citresse says:

      I think much of the fawning stopped when rumours of sham marriage of Charles and Diana
      gained traction yet assurances (lies) from BP continued.
      If BP lied about that, they’ll lie about anything.
      Imagine if William becomes King, the BP lies in overdrive.

  10. Lainey says:

    I always laugh when Will preaches about ivory. Such a hypocrite.
    Is anyone watching Charles tour of Romania? Run completely differently to the Cambridge tours. All the press are praising all those involved for the amount of access they’ve been given. And I adore seeing the pics of Charles with the kids! Such lovely pics.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Charles has invested Duchy money in Romania, seeking to do there what he has done in the UK. Save historic estates, sustainable agriculture, etc. I’m not sure how he gets away with investing that money in Romania, but I’d expect him to be welcomed there for his investment and interest in that country.

  11. Kitty says:

    Honestly if he had his mothers characteristics he could have had a ban on ivory trade around the world just has Diana at the time almost stopped Landmines to bad she died before she could have saw what happened next(they ban landmines). Seems like no one in the royal family are influential, impactful, and powerful in diplomacy as Diana was. It was a gift I guess.!

    • LAK says:

      Nope. Diana’s death boosted the landmine campaign, not her campaigning on this issue in her lifetime.

      Prior to her death, in the days, weeks, months that she worked on the landmine campaign, she rubbed people up the wrong way. Editorials were written in which she was called a loose canon and someone who was sabotaging the govt. She was called out in Parliament for it, ministers lined up to call her a loon and a dimwit who was treading in areas she had no business.

      In the weeks following her death, public was in no mood for any criticism of Diana and her per causes received huge public support. Everyone, including those ministers who weeks before had been de-crying her, lined up to support her causes and to pass the landmine ban as a tribute to her.

      • Kitty says:

        Then LAK, gen why is it people have said countless of times that Diana would build bridges every time she was on royal tours and wasn’t great at diplomacy and great ambassador for the U.K.? You have to admit she was a very powerful, impactful and influential figure loved by the whole world.

      • LAK says:

        Kitty: she did that, but she also messed stuff up. She drew a global spotlight, but it wasn’t always welcomed nor were her efforts smooth sailing.

        Her sons, particularly William, can’t touch the size of her spotlight or ability to draw crowds, but that doesn’t mean she was a living saint or that everything she did was welcomed and loved.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Agreed, LAK. She was in a lot of hot water and getting loads of criticism at the time of her death. If Diana had lived, her reputation would be very different today.

      • Kitty says:

        LAK, exactly she drew a global spotlight. Everytime she would visit countries on herself or on royal tours the leaders or kings would be charmed by her and they would build a better relationship with the UK and had great diplomacy. Why don’t you guys want to admit this?

      • LAK says:

        Kitty: popularity is not the same as diplomacy. Diana might have met world leaders, but she was nowhere near the actual work of diplomacy.

        Stop rewriting the woman’s history to fit your fantasy history of her.

      • Kitty says:

        LAK, it’s been proven that she would build bridges with the countries she visited or went on tour with. As well as making international friendships. Why don’t you believe that?

      • LAK says:

        Kitty: that’s not true at all. Stop it.

      • FLORC says:

        Full disclosure. I’m a fan of LAK & Nota’s comments for their ability to properly cite or direct and support their opinions and not criticizing out of hate. Much like wiglet watch. The purpose of pointing physical appearance discrepancies isn’t to mock, but to counter an obvious PR lie. Much like Bigly’s inauguration crowds.

        Anyway, Diana has been heavily whitewashed. To say she had power on a diplomatic level while alive was pure tabloid fun. Loads of celebrities have spoken to Congress in the states. Gone on diplomatic trips, but would they be qualified to sit down away from cameras, be respected in a room of experts and those with power to move mountains on an issue? No. It’s just to put a spotlight on something hat needed a popular name attached so the common would notice.

        She did good. She also made some messes. Death can turn the worst into the best. Not saying she was the worst. Just saying the extreme.

      • Sixer says:

        Kitty – the BRF is the diplomatic equivalent of an executive box at a sports stadium when corporations want to make a good show to prospective clients. Nothing to do with the actual deal being done – just a cherry on the top of a cake.

        No, you wouldn’t want a rude idiot doing the wining and dining in that executive box. Diana wasn’t a rude idiot. She made diplomatic targets for the UK feel valued for about five minutes.

        This isn’t worthless but it most certainly isn’t actual diplomacy, which is a highly professional endeavour requiring many, many skills. For all its many many faults, the UK has one of the best, most qualified diplomatic services in the world. If that service were a house, the BRF’s role in it wouldn’t even qualify as important as colour of the sofa cushions in its living room.

        Let’s have some perspective, for heavens sakes.

      • notasugarhere says:

        FLORC! FLORC! I am so happy you are here, and hope you are doing well.

      • FLORC says:

        I’m doing great and hope you and the rest of our wiglet watchers are as well!

      • Olenna says:

        Hi, FLORC! Echoing notasugarhere, “Welcome back!”

    • Megan says:

      @Kitty groups working to ban landmines were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1992, which was years before Diana took up the issue. She helped bring visibility to a serious problem, but her role was quite small.

    • Disco Dancer says:

      Kitty, I’ve been an admirer of Diana since childhood and despite her many flaws, continue to admire her hard work and her beauty and elegance. However, you sound a little obsessive about Diana and getting everyone to accept how very much of a superior being she was, compared to everyone else. You keep asking the same questions, to which you already know the answers. Quite frankly to me, you seem a bit obsessed with a long- dead person.

  12. Nicky says:

    He and the rest of the young royals need to start getting their hands dirty and start doing things that are not glamorous and not the same old subjects. How about visiting schools, hospices and local communities. Get volunteering, go litter picking, help out in an old people’s home, charity shop, paint some graffiti off a wall. Just do something one morning a week. Not just get your photo taken in an expensive frock nodding at someone. Encourage people to care about their community. I’m sick of the lot of them but do love the Queen. Oh and stop hunting too! Sick of it.

    • Maria says:

      Amen and Waity can wear her shortest dress to go litter picking.

    • LAK says:


    • Citresse says:

      I remember when young William slept rough to identify with homeless. I thought he’d make an excellent King. How matters have changed indeed. And I blame the Middleton family for some of it.

      • TheOtherOne says:

        Citresse – I remember that too. If Will could get back to his compassionate side (which probably means dumping the Middletons) he could save his Kingship.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        Yep – he had potential then but now its all gone. And yes I agree that the Middleton’s have played a part in that, they brought him down to their level. Charles also has some responsibility – he was not the strong father that he needed to be to deal with Willy.

      • notasugarhere says:

        One night in 2009 surrounded by security. I really don’t think that can give him a true understanding of what it is to be homeless, especially as he got up the next morning and went home to a palace. In retrospect, it looks like a lot of playacting on his part and no commitment.

      • Citresse says:

        notasugarhere, William will never really understand the struggles of the homeless but at least he spent a night with them in frigid temperatures. It was two years before he married Middleton. I believe there was a short window of time where he may have chosen a more selfless life but it didn’t happen.

  13. Maria says:

    It’s like, “let’s get this meeting over with, because I have a shooting weekend coming up”. So hypocritical.

  14. Indira says:

    Very important topic but royals are hunters and I don’t think as a hunter he’s the best ambassador for something like this.

    • addie says:

      He might have persuaded the BRF to sell/donate its entire ivory collection. Start at home.

  15. Rocio says:

    He looks a bit hamsterish.

  16. WendyNerd says:

    What I find interesting:

    This year so far, Will & Kate actually HAVE upped their schedule, and finally ARE making legit measures to actually move to London (George’s new school). But, at the same time, Will has not at all been shielded, protected, or coddled over the ski thing, there’s no sign of push back or help from the establishment like there was before. There’s no efforts to distract from Will’s scandal by putting out a “Spare” one. If anything, Harry’s now the one being protected and even favored. He was right there on Commonwealth Day while Will was absent, he and Meghan’s privacy has been carefully guarded and nothing but positive press has come out about them for a while. All the while, the RF has done NOTHING to stem bad press about W&K, not just the Dad dancing, but also things like that dumb hedge. They didn’t really seem to do much about the fallout over Christmas, either (the “Queen understands” pieces seemed like the work of Poor Jason).

    I think something finally snapped. If I were to guess, I think it’s finally gotten to be too much between Brexit, the Buckingham Palace Renovations, and (I’m guessing the final straw) the queen and DoE’s illness. While I never once believed the “Queen was on the verge of death” speculation, I am beginning to think whatever they had was a bit worse than the “cold” reported. I mean, this is the Queen we’re talking about. She was literally raised amidst the London Blitz, and don’t get me started on Philip. Not to mention, Elizabeth’s health (and in general, it seems, the health of women in her family. The Queen Mother was 102 when she died. Margaret lived to 71, which, if you consider just HOW HARD that woman lived, how much she drank and smoked, is actually kind of a miracle) has always been pretty superb. So I honestly think that the Christmas illness (which even got her to miss church) was enough to give her and some others an actual scare. I mean, can you imagine a worst time (aside from maybe Diana-gate) for the RF to lose her? HM has always buried her head in the sand for the most part, but even she’s shown her limits (ordering the Charles and Diana divorce).

    If I had to guess, I’d say that HW, Philip, and Charles finally sat them down and decided they were DONE, and that they could no longer take the risk of waiting on W&K to get their acts together (I think the fact that it was both HM AND Philip who got sick probably hammered this home. Even if HM wasn’t on death’s door, Philip is five years older, and he’s been her support system throughout. It would be a huge blow to her if he were lost). No more waiting. No more shielding. No more “gap years”, fake courses, fake jobs, and using the kids as excuses/weapons. No more bi-monthly vacations. And if they decided to pull shit anyways, no more help or defense from the consequences. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ski thing was an attempt on William’s part of a power play, testing their resolve on this. Trying to provoke them. They might have even gone, “Sure, go ski with your friends, miss Commonwealth Day”, and Will went whistling dixie, smug and thinking he’d called their bluff. Only to discover, to his horror, that no, not at all. They’d let him have his “freedom”, but now they were also letting him deal with the consequences. They ignored him, put Harry front and center (while also carefully protecting him and his family), and gave the press free reign. No attempts to bury the videos, no public statements defending Will, no threats, no complaints, nothing. They simply started following William’s “brilliant” approach to everything: doing nothing.

    Now we’ve got him summoning government ministers to KP. It’s asinine and ridiculous, but it’s more of an (albeit pathetic) show of effort than they would have gotten last year. Sure, it’s William, so he’s still probably still kicking and screaming. But after six years of standing still, it’s a baby step.

    My guess is that they’ll both have to continue. They may even be made to improve from this, though my guess is that getting that will require a threat of cutting off the cash.

    This is pure speculation, of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Kitty says:

      Wow this sounds like it could be legit true! I wouldn’t be shocked because why didn’t the palace protect William with the whole skiing thing? Also why was Harry front and center at Commonwealth Day? I wouldn’t be shocked if The Queen and Charles do have plans for Harry and his future family that will be good for the monarchy. Anything is possible.

    • TheOtherOne says:

      ITA as well. I also found the Verbier pictures strange, especially when he was on the lift and he appeared to be looking directly at the camera. Well let’s hope he gets his ish together.

  17. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Nobody should be allowed to financially profit from the extinction of a species. All ivory sales should be illegal. If a museum or individual people have older pieces in their collection (because, for example, they inherited it), then they should be allowed to keep the pieces but not sell them. Someone who wants to hold onto a family heirloom should not be affected by a ban on all SALES of ivory.

  18. bluecat says:

    Maybe William should start with his own family and his friends and himself by not shooting animals for so called sport. He should lead by example ,maybe then people in high places would take him more seriously.

    • Paddy says:

      Correct bluecat, what gets a lot of people is that they enjoy the kill. Want to shoot ? Then spend all day shooting clay pigeons (skeets). Same with the wild boar and water buffalo, they enjoy killing things- how can they be taken seriously as conservationists?

      • FLORC says:

        It’s not even about the hunt. Much of what William does as a “hunter” is having an extreme unfair advantage of guides, forms of traps to lure an animal into a kill zone territory, clip their wings, etc, etc…
        And maybe the animals they kill will be served and eaten at a dinner, but more often they are tossed out from too much.

        He speaks like he’s pandering to whomever he’s sharing a cocktail with at that moment. Uninformed and lacking in any real follow through. Which is sad because it’s a respectable cause. And the closest cause William has ever shown a spark of passion towards.