1. ITV Report

William: Becoming a father has made me more protective

The Duke of Cambridge spoke to ITV about his passion for conservation. Photo: ITV/Prince William - New Father, New Hope

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken passionately of his love of conservation - and how becoming a father for the first time has made him more protective.

In his first interview to be filmed since the birth of his son Prince George, William told of the importance of the "legacy" that he wishes to leave behind for future generations.

Speaking in July, William appeared moved, not only by footage of conservation workers in Africa, but also by a video of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, seen on an anti-landmine visit to Angola.

He spoke of Diana's "excitement and passion" at the charity work she undertook, saying, "I never realised quite how much of an impact she had."

While he said his conservation work is not "obviously related" to the causes championed by his mother, William stressed that both were dedicated to "helping the needy and the vulnerable".

The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge leave the Lindo wing with their son Prince George. Credit: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

The Duke told the ITV programme, "Catherine probably thinks I'm completely Africa potty. But she understands what it means to me, and my love of conservation. But I think she wishes I didn't go on about it as much as I do!"

William was shown images of rhinos with their horns removed by poachers and appeared close to tears at times.

"Seeing a badly injured animal such as a rhino, seeing its horn, it's come, for me, to symbolise human greed," he said.

"I feel a real protective instinct, also now probably more so now that I am a father, which is why I'm getting quite emotional about it."

Prince William being interviewed for the ITV documentary at Kensington Palace. Credit: ITV/Prince William - New Father, New Hope

The Duke said he hopes he will pass on his love for endangered animals on to his young son, by "whispering sweet nothings in his ear" about them, and filling his nursery with toy elephants and rhinos. He also hinted that he would one day take Prince George to Africa.

William continued: "The last few weeks, for me, have been a very different emotional experience, something I never thought I would feel myself. It's only been a short period, but a lot of things affect me differently now.

"It's a daunting task when you realise that you want to pass on things to your son, and suddenly you start to realise 'wow', there's stuff you want to safeguard for the future.

"I've always believed it, but to actually really feel it too, it's coming through quite powerfully now."