Prince William fights back tears as he learns of the threat climate change poses to the planet’s wildlife in a new TV documentary.
The Duke of Cambridge, 38, was followed by cameras for two years as he embarked on a global mission to mobilise action for the natural world, with Prince William: A Planet For Us All set to air at 9pm on October 5.
In stirring scenes filmed at a heavily guarded ivory facility in Tanzania in 2018, where 43,000 tusks with a street value of £50million have been impounded, the father-of-three becomes visibly upset over fears for the future of elephants and rhinos.
The royal says: ‘It’s a mind-blowing number of tusks, it really is. You can’t get your head around it.’
Prince William, 38, fights back tears as he learns of the threat climate change poses to the planet’s wildlife in a new TV documentary
The Duke of Cambridge becomes visibly upset during ITV’s Prince William: A Planet For Us All, showing anguish over the rhino, which is facing extinction after being hunted for their horns
He also shows anguish over the rhino, which is facing extinction after being hunted for their horns which are used in some cultures for medicine.
The royal is filmed feeding a carrot to a rhino called Deborah at Mkomazi National Park, explaining: ‘People might see them and think it’s a big tank, a big hulk of an animal. They want this horn, which is effectively nail. That is all it is, fingernail.
‘This is where the horn belongs – on a live rhino. That’s where it should stay.’
In other scenes, the Duke says he feels it is his ‘duty’ to leave the planet in a stronger position for future generations.
William says he wants to follow in the footsteps of Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh – who he said were ‘ahead of their time’ – so he didn’t let his children down
The duke also says the coronavirus crisis had given everyone a greater appreciation of the natural world. He adds: ‘If there’s any ray of light from this, it is that it allows us to take stock and to refocus our priorities.’
The duke calls on humanity to ‘speed the pace up’ and tackle the growing environmental threat to the planet.
Speaking in the new documentary, William suggests he expects to be criticised for his views, saying: ‘Someone has to put their head above the parapet and say, I care about this.’
The Duke says he feels it is his ‘duty’ to leave the planet in a stronger position for future generations
And he highlights how the younger generation – who are typified by the teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg – are pushing for change and action on the issue.
William has been filmed over the past two years in the UK and countries such as Pakistan and Tanzania for the ITV documentary Prince William: A Planet For Us All, which charts his journey from passionate conservationist to wanting to play a greater global leadership role on the environment.
In Pakistan’s Hindu Kush mountains, the duke and his wife saw first hand the effects of climate change on glaciers which are melting at record speeds.
William has been filmed over the past two years in the UK and countries such as Pakistan and Tanzania for the ITV documentary
The documentary charts his journey from passionate conservationist to wanting to play a greater global leadership role on the environment
During the official tour last October, William told the documentary: ‘It’s a huge environmental and humanitarian disaster.
‘And yet, we still don’t seem to be picking up the pace and understanding it quick enough. And I think the young are really getting it.
‘And the younger generation are really wanting more and more people to do stuff and want more action.
‘And we’ve got to speed the pace up. We’ve got to get on top of it and we need to be more vocal and more educational about what’s going on.’
The documentary follows the duke during a visit to Tanzania in September 2018 and he is filmed feeding a carrot to a rhino called Deborah
The documentary follows the duke during a visit to Tanzania in September 2018 and he is filmed feeding a carrot to a rhino called Deborah.
The future king says in the film, which will be screened next Monday: ‘People might see them and think it’s a big tank, a big hulk of an animal, with a big horn, but they are incredibly vulnerable.’
William’s interest in protecting the natural world and the environment is reflected in his role as patron of Tusk, a conservation organisation working in Africa which aims to secure a peaceful co-existence for the continent’s wildlife and its people.
The documentary follows the duke during a visit to Tanzania in September 2018
Prince William is filmed feeding a carrot to a rhino in the new documentary
And for more than five years the Transport Taskforce of his umbrella organisation United for Wildlife has been working to facilitate collaboration between the transport sector and law enforcement to prevent wildlife trafficking.
In the film, the duke pays tribute to his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh and father the Prince of Wales for their work supporting the natural world.
He says: ‘My grandfather, my father have been in environmental work for many years.
‘My grandfather’s well ahead of his time. My father, ahead of his time. And I really want to make sure that, in 20 years, George doesn’t turn round and say, ‘are you ahead of your time?’ Because if he does, we’re too late.’
Later William is visibly moved as he visits a heavily guarded secure ivory store in Tanzania where 43,000 tusks with a street value of £50 million have been impounded
The duke and duchess are featured with Sir David Attenborough during the documentary and are filmed when Kate names a new British polar research vessel after the broadcaster and naturalist.
In the documentary, William tells the veteran broadcaster: ‘Every generation, you know, after yours, David, has grown up listening and seeing all the things that you’ve shown them. And, hopefully, each generation listens a little bit more.’
Sir David, who last week met the Cambridges and watched his new documentary – A Life On Our Planet – with William, shares the duke’s optimism: ‘The public is becoming extraordinarily well informed it seems to me. Kids know an awful lot now about ecology and what’s happening with the world. It’s remarkable.’
At the end of the programme, William says he believes that 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic has given people a chance to ‘take stock’ of what is important.
He says: ‘I’ve been really heartened by what I’ve been hearing from other people and how they’ve decided to appreciate nature and experience it and see all the things that they never thought they would.
‘Someone has to put their head above the parapet and say, I care about this. To have the belief that if we all work together, we can make a difference.’
Prince William: A Planet For Us All will be screened on ITV at 9pm on Monday October 5.