William vows to 'go further' than family and 'bring change' after year as Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales wants to 'actually bring change' in his new royal role, as ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports from Singapore

Prince William has vowed to "go further" than his predecessors in his role as Prince of Wales and hopes to "actually bring change" to causes he supports.

His revelation came after he brought his third Earthshot Prize awards ceremony to Asia and reflected on his first 12 months since becoming heir to the throne.

Speaking in Singapore for the Earthshot Prize awards, William praised the royal family’s work “spotlighting” and “highlighting” causes, but said he wanted to do more than just be a patron.

William said: “The thing that ties it all together for me is about social leadership, that’s what I’m trying to find my way in.

"I care about so many things, and previously the family have been very much spotlighting brilliantly and going round and highlighting lots – I want to go a step further – I want to actually bring change and I want to bring people to the table who can do the change if I can’t do it.

Prince William, at the Earthshot awards with Hannah Waddingham, Cate Blanchett and US actor Sterling K. Brown. Credit: AP

It suggests Prince William intends to be either equally as interventionist – or even more interventionist – than his father was, who was the longest serving Prince of Wales until he became King in 2022.

The prince is ending his four day visit to Singapore, where another five winners of the Earthshot Awards were announced, who will each receive £1 million prize money and be given advice and support to scale up their projects to help the planet and combat climate change.

The Earthshot Awards will run annually until the end of the decade and Prince William said he hoped the world would be in a very different place by 2030.

He said that in seven years' time he wants to “be able to look the next generation in the eye”.

William predicted that we would “start to see policy shifts” and that “we will start to see governments incredibly engaged and a green sector starting to appear.”

However, at a time when the UK government has recently watered down in green targets, it suggests the Prince of Wales is prepared to be bold when it comes to issues about which he is incredibly passionate.

Christiana Figueres, who used to be the United Nations’ climate envoy and now is a Board of Trustees of the Earthshot Prize, thinks the Prince will be proved to be right.

Asked by ITV News about the King and Prince William supporting the fight against climate change and Downing Street appearing to backtrack, Ms Figueres said: “You can imagine who I think is right and who will be on the right side of history”.

Prince William also spoke about his passion to lead from the front on homelessness.

He said: “I’ve been in the homelessness sector for a long time now, and so rather than just being patron I want to do more, I want to actually build the homes, I want to provide them with the mental support, all the employment and the education they might need.”

Last summer, William launched a new campaign in which he said he wanted to “eradicate” homelessness within five years.

It contrasts with words used in recent days by the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, who used the words “lifestyle choice” when talking about people sleeping on the streets in tents.

So it begs the question of whether this relatively new Prince of Wales intends to be as interventionist as his father often was – even when that became controversial.

But Charles, since becoming Monarch, is much more constrained by his new role and is unable to speak out in the way he did as Prince Charles.

Prince William has used his platform in Singapore to put down a bold marker and reveal what kind of Prince of Wales he intends to be.

His office said it was all about having an “impact” but there will be those in Westminster asking if the prince should be making such bold remarks in areas of policy which are traditionally the domain of elected politicians – rather than members of a hereditary Royal Family.

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