Prince William’s latest speech has sparked mixed reactions online. The Duke of Cambridge spoke at the Tusk Trust Ball on Thursday night in London and commented on overpopulation in his remarks.
The royal is a patron of the Tusk Trust organization, which was set up in 1990 to help to protect African wildlife. During Thursday night's gala, Prince William spoke about the many threats facing Africa's animal species.
“In my lifetime we have seen global wildlife populations decline by over half. Africa’s rapidly growing human population is predicted to more than double by 2050—a staggering increase of three and a half million people per month. There is no question that this increase puts wildlife and habitat under enormous pressure,” the prince said in his speech.
“Urbanization, infrastructure development, cultivation—all good things in themselves, but they will have a terrible impact unless we begin to plan and to take measures now. On human populations alone, over-grazing and poor water supplies could have a catastrophic effect unless we start to think about how to mitigate these challenges.”
His comments were construed as a warning about the terrible effects of overpopulation. Considering Prince William is expecting his third child with wife Kate Middleton, many were quick to criticize the royal for being “hypocritical.”
Read Prince William's full speech here.
The royal family has yet to respond to the social media backlash against William's remarks, though it is important to note that nowhere in his speech does William reference the term "overpopulation." Instead, he criticizes "urbanization, infrastructure development, and cultivation."