Prince William has taken part in a session on bullying and homophobia in schools, in which he specifically spoke out against homophobia for the first time.
The future King visited Hammersmith Academy today, to take part in a session with pupils to provide practical tips to prevent anti-LGBT bullying, and cyber bullying.
He attended alongside staff from the Diana Award – named after the Prince’s late mother – whose specialist staff work run bullying workshops across the country.
Though the Royal Family are involved in hundreds of charities, they are almost never seen to be embracing the cause of LGBT rights.
Given the Monarch’s role as head of the Commonwealth, and as 90% of Commonwealth citizens still live under anti-gay laws, the Royals generally avoid all reference to gay equality. No Royals have ever spoken in favour of same-sex marriage.
However, Prince William actively spoke out against homophobia in the visit, alongside Education Secretary and Equalities minister Nicky Morgan.
Joining a session on LGBT issues, the students were asked how they would react to homophobic bullying. The Duke of Cambridge indicated he would confront those behind any comments and comfort the victims.
Referring to a chart of how to tackle homophobia, he said: “I would start on that side [comfort the victim and end up here [confront the bully].”
After a student said they would confront a homophobe, the Duke added: “As the young man said, I would try to confront.”
He also appeared in front of a sign displaying ‘LGBT’ in rainbow letters in a number of pictures.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson commented, saying: “He hopes it will help de-stigmatise bullying issues in schools.
“He particularly likes the idea of a peer-led support network to prevent any child or young person suffering in silence.”
Though the comments may seem minor, they are a strong statement of intent from the future Monarch – who may one day be charged with deciding to ‘confront’ anti-gay leaders from across the Commonwealth.
It may be the first time he’s spoken out about LGBT rights in public, but in private he has privately served alongside a transgender RAF pilot in the past.
The Diana Award aims to identify and develop young people, as well as engaging them in social action.
Patrons of the charity include David Cameron, Esther Rantzen, Sinitta and Carrie Grant.