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Prince William isn’t a fan of ivory. The Duke of Cambridge, who recently attended the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince Harry, told primatologist Jane Goodall that he would “like to see all the ivory owned by Buckingham Palace destroyed,” according to the Independent on Sunday. Conservationists, who are hailing the statement as “extremely significant” in the fight against elephant poaching, say that such a move would send a “powerful message” to illegal traffickers. “It’s difficult to imagine a stronger symbol of the horrors of ivory than Buckingham Palace publicly destroying its own,” said Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith. “Good for Prince William for pushing this.”

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The royal collection at Buckingham Palace lists some 1,200 items as containing ivory, including a throne from India, dated 1851, that belonged to Queen Victoria. A Palace official said they have received a small number of items over the years but that they were “primarily official gifts, which would have been agreed in full knowledge of relevant legislation.”

The royal collection at Buckingham Palace lists some 1,200 items as containing ivory, including a throne from India.

Prince Charles has reportedly asked for ivory pieces at his residences of Clarence House and Highgrove to kept out of view, but experts say that destruction would leave no room for interpretation. “It would be a demonstration of them putting their money where their mouth is,” said Paula Kahumbu, executive director of Kenya-based nonprofit Wildlife Direct. “It would be extremely significant, and visual, and might help Britons hand in their ivory, illegal, or legal.”

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“Ninety nine per cent of ivory that is in people’s hands comes from elephants being gunned down,” she added. “Handing it in shows: ‘I’m going to wash my hands of this despicable business.’ It shows the royals are not above taking a practical, personal action. It would probably result in similar support from other countries.”

Still it’s hard to imagine the Queen in any way on board with the plan. William’s position is also a wee bit undercut by the boar hunt he and Harry went on in Spain a week before the conference. Morrissey, who once accused the British Royal Guard of “bear-baiting,” promptly weighed in, labeling the future king a “thickwit.”

[Via the Guardian]