is explaining why didn't travel with him on his .
In a speech on Monday morning, William said his wife couldn’t be with him because of an important family reason: 's schooling.
“Catherine is very sorry she can’t be here,” said the Prince of Wales, 41. “She is helping George through his first set of major exams.”
Kensington Palace that Prince William would travel to Singapore solo . This marks the first time that Princess Kate will miss the awards ceremony, which she has attended for the last two years (in London for the inaugural event and then in Boston in 2022). Prince William in 2020 to promote impactful approaches to the world's most pressing environmental challenges, with plans to award the prizes until 2030.
The royal added that his last visit with Kate, 41, had been “a memorable” one 11 years ago. On that occasion, the Prince and Princess of Wales visited Singapore on behalf of his late grandmother during her Diamond Jubilee year.
This time, however, Prince William is in Singapore for both the third annual Earthshot Prize and for his program, which works to “protect our natural world from the international criminal gangs intent on plundering it," he said Monday.
Speaking at the United for Wildlife summit on Monday, Prince William also passionately railed against the “greed and exploitation” that has led to the plundering of endangered species — something which he said had caused wildlife populations to tumble by “almost 70% in the last 50 years.”
“Namibia, home to the largest number of black rhinos in the world, saw a devastating 93% increase in rhino poaching from 2021 to 2022,” he continued.
"We know where the animals are being poached; we know the routes through which they are illegally transported; we know the financial systems that criminal networks are exploiting to finance their trade; and we know the main markets that are fuelling the demand for it," he added about how the problem can be targeted.
“Let’s use this summit to renew our collective determination to defeat the criminal gangs who inflict such unnecessary environmental and human loss," he said. "This is a battle that can and must be won.”
Prince William’s United for Wildlife campaign brings together governments, businesses, policing authorities and transport agencies to help combat the crime. Such high-profile agencies are required because it is often the same highly organized gangs that traffic drugs, arms and people.
“This criminal convergence makes the illegal wildlife trade as much a human crisis as an environmental one," said William, before adding that the “global black market that has made flora and fauna the fourth-most-traded illegal commodity in the world, worth up to $20 billion.”
“This is a global issue that demands immediate attention from us all.”