William to deliver first speech as Prince of Wales at animal conservation event

The Prince of Wales will deliver his first public speech since taking on his new royal title at a charitable event in London.

Prince William, who is now the heir apparent following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, will speak at the United for Wildlife global summit at the Science Museum on Tuesday (4 October).

William was announced as the new Prince of Wales by his father, King Charles III, in a historic TV address to the nation on 9 September, the day after the Queen died.

The prince founded United for Wildlife in 2014 in a bid to tackle the illegal trade of animal products.

In his speech on Tuesday, William will highlight the serious and organised nature of illegal wildlife crime, and the damaging impact it is having on biodiversity and local communities across the world.

The summit will be attended by more than 300 members of law enforcement agencies and conservation organisations, where they will highlight the work they are doing to drive policy change and support criminal investigations.

Examples of illegal wildlife trade include the poaching of elephants for their ivory tusks, and tigers for their skin and bones.

William has long campaigned against illegal wildlife trading, and previously called for a commitment to end the “abhorrent crime”.

The event will see speakers announce new policies and unveil partnerships in a bid to end the trade, which is worth up to $20 billion (£17.5 billion) per year and is associated with violent crime, corruption and other forms of trafficking.

The summit will also pay tribute to the late wildlife ranger Anton Mzimba, who was killed earlier this year. Mzimba had dedicated his life to protecting South Africa’s rhinoceroses, before he was shot and killed at his family home in July.

Members of the royal family resumed their official duties last week following a mourning period for the Queen.

The Prince and Princess of Wales travelled to Wales, marking the first time the couple had visited the nation after being given their new titles.