Prince William Chats With President Obama, Delivers Speech at World Bank


The Duke of Cambridge has met US President Barack Obama at the White House as part of a three-day visit.

Prince William held talks with President Obama in the Oval Office, in advance of delivering a speech to the World Bank on wildlife crime.

During the speech, he described the illegal wildlife trade as “one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today.”

His wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited a New York children’s centre.

The couple arrived in New York on Sunday night, with the prince travelling to Washington alone on Monday.

‘Just chaos’

At the White House, the prince joked with Mr Obama about the birth of Prince George, saying: “The excitement of the event and everything else was just chaos.”

He added that he expects a “busy year” in 2015, when Catherine is due to give birth to the royal couple’s second child.

President Obama said the prince’s work to protect endangered wildlife was “very important”.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the prince had enjoyed access “most politicians can only dream about”.

Later, in his speech at the World Bank, the prince said: “In my view, one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today is the illegal wildlife trade.”

He attacked those who “loot our planet to feed mankind’s ignorant craving for exotic pets, trinkets, cures and ornaments derived from the world’s vanishing and irreplaceable species”.

Prince’s passion for wildlife

Prince William founded the umbrella organisation United for Wildlife to try to preserve the planet’s most endangered animals and habitats.

The prince has been the royal patron of Tusk since 2005. The charity supports projects in 17 African countries, aimed at protecting wildlife and alleviating poverty.

Before starting at St Andrews University, the prince went on a gap year, some of which was spent in Africa learning about its wildlife and game conservation.

Paying tribute to his father, the Prince of Wales, and his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, he said: “They helped to bring about a revolution in attitudes towards our natural environment.”

He added: “From them, I learned that our relation to nature and wildlife goes to the heart of our identity as human beings. From our sheer survival, to our appreciation of beauty and our connection to all other living things.

“Seen in this light, the extinction of any of the world’s species of animals is a loss to all humanity.”

He said wildlife crime “goes to the heart of our security”, “distorts economic development” and “fuels sources of conflict”.

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