Prince William is back on the world stage with his first international trip in two years.
The Duke of Cambridge is on a whirlwind solo trip to the Middle East for UK National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, an event which celebrates the United Kingdom’s contribution to the world.
“Excited to be arriving in Dubai to celebrate the UK at @DubaiExpo and discuss the vital issue of working together with the UAE and international partners to achieve a more sustainable world with @EarthshotPrize and United for Wildlife,” Wills tweeted ahead of his arrival.
This is his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates. The duke, second-in-line to the British throne, was eager to promote good relations between the countries as he took part in the Queen’s Commonwealth Games baton relay and met beaming fans and UK sportspeople.
The trip also saw the British royal visit Abu Dhabi’s wetlands at Jubail Mangrove Park to promote environmental initiatives close to his heart.
He joined schoolchildren and Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed in planting mangrove saplings, to help drive the UAE’s efforts to protect the regional flora and fauna from human and environmental threats.
“You are the future. Keep up the good work,” he told the youngsters.
As part of William’s efforts to tackle the illegal trade of ivory and rhino horn through United for Wildlife – an organisation he co-founded with The Royal Foundation to stop illegal wildlife trade – he toured Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port, almost 43 years after his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, opened it.
Using new technology and X-ray machines, customs officials showed the senior royal how they're able to scan containers for any suspicious cargo entering the country.
“His Royal Highness was saying that essentially we were on the same page, that there is an opportunity to leverage technology,” a spokesperson said. “He said that he is blown away by the technologies out there that can help combat illegal wildlife trade.”
Wills’ trip comes in the same week his father, Prince Charles, tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time. He first contracted the virus in 2020.
The Prince of Wales, who came in contact with politicians at the British Asian Trust event earlier this week, also saw the queen two days before his Covid diagnosis on Thursday.
Buckingham Palace is yet to confirm if Her Majesty has tested positive for the virus, but a source says she is being monitored and is not showing any symptoms.
SOURCES: GBNEWS.UK, PEOPLE.COM, THESUN.CO.UK, APNEWS.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK