The Cambridges

Prince William is now holding private audiences with cabinet ministers

Prince William has held his first private audience with a cabinet minister,  Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to be exact.

On Tuesday, the second-in-line to the throne summoned the Mrs Leadsom to Kensington Palace to discuss his thoughts on the ivory trade.

Both the Duke of Cambridge and Mrs Leadsom were in Vietnam last November for the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) conference. The upcoming 2018 IWT conference to be held in London was also on the agenda.

Earlier this month Mrs Leadsom announced the plan to allow ivory carved antiques from before 1947 to continued to be sold. Activists, including the Duke, are worried this will only encourage illegal poaching of the African elephant.

A promise made by the Conservatives during their 2015 election to “press for a total ban on ivory sales” has seemed to gone by the wayside.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minster said: “We will seek views from all parties on how and when we introduce the ban on ivory.”

Prince William has been an active voice in the fight to save the endangered African elephant.

“We need governments to send a clear signal that trading in ivory is abhorrent,” the Prince said at the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade last November.

Prince William also spoke out on the ivory trade last September at a Time For Change event hosted by Tusk, one of his patronages.

“We have the chance to say that ivory is a symbol of destruction, not of luxury, and not something that anyone needs to buy or sell.”

Tusk’s chief executive, Charlie Mayhew, spoke about the Ivory Report, saying, “As long as the government allows the British ivory market to flourish in its current form – with modern ivory passed off as old – there will be a direct link from sale rooms and stall-holders to African savanna, with the market encouraged by traders leading to the killing of even more elephants.”