Prince William recently threw his support behind a campaign against elephant poaching, and in a conversation with world renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, he commented that he’d like to see the entire royal ivory collection — all 1,200 pieces — removed from Buckingham Palace and destroyed. These are strong words from a royal concerning a collection that dates back hundreds of years. But the statement is music to the ears of those who’ve fought to protect animals illegally poached for their horns and tusks.
Prince William’s strong statements regarding the royal ivory collection echo those that his father, Prince Charles, has made for years. According to The Guardian, “Prince Charles has reportedly asked for all ivory items at his Clarence House and Highgrove homes to be removed from sight.”
Prince William’s suggestion that this centuries-old ivory collection be destroyed has already garnered public support. “It’s difficult to imagine a stronger symbol of the horrors of ivory than Buckingham Palace publicly destroying its own. Good for Prince William for pushing this,” Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith was quoted in The Guardian. “It would be a demonstration of them putting their money where their mouth is. It would be extremely significant and visual, and might help Britons hand in their ivory, illegal or legal,” conservationist Dr Paula Kahumbu also told the newspaper.
Prince William’s call for the destruction of the royal ivory collection comes just a week after he addressed a symposium of leading conservationists gathered by his United for Wildlife organization. In the speech, he and Charles also called on the world to turn its back on illegally traded animal parts such as ivory and rhino horn, a purge that’s already begun.
In late 2013, U.S. officials destroyed $10 billion worth of “blood ivory” at a rock crushing facility in Denver, Colorado. In early 2014, China destroyed six tons of ivory from its official stockpile in an effort to discourage the ongoing trade of the illicit substance.
Via The Guardian