Speaking of his impending fatherhood, the Duke of Sussex expressed his admiration for those working to make change at the Commonwealth Youth Roundtable which took place in London on Wednesday.
As Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, the duke joined Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth, along with 30 youth leaders from around the world for a meeting at Lancaster House in the capital.
During the event, they discussed how the goals from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Youth Forum in 2018 were being carried out, as well as their plans for the future.
“As someone who is about to become a father, I am acutely aware of our shared responsibility to make this world more resilient and its inhabitants more accountable for the next generation,” the duke said in his speech.
Dr Elvis Eze, a youth ambassador from Nigeria, and Tijani Christian, chairman of the Commonwealth Youth Council, from Jamaica also joined the event. The duke was welcomed to the meeting by Ghanaian group One Drum and, bobbing his head to the music, he jokingly offered to take his jacket off and play with them.
The Duke of Sussex talked about the importance of social change and breaking boundaries in his speech. “What has struck me the most is that you’re changing behaviours every day by the way that you’re choosing to live, and therefore the example you are proudly setting,” he said.
“You are rejecting old hierarchies, antiquated systems and biases; you are looking at the world with fresh eyes, and breaking rules and boundaries that no longer apply to enable a better future for everyone.”
The duke continues to champion mental health causes and shared the importance of this with Wednesday’s audience. “As I have spoken to young people on my travels, one of the recurring themes is the lack of mental health support for those under 30 and the remaining stigma and absence of services available,” he said.
“And while this may seem streamlined, and even niche to some, what I have come to understand so deeply is that all health is interconnected – our mental health, our planet’s health, the health of our communities. We do not survive, and certainly do not thrive without the acknowledgment and understanding that in addressing one problem, we are paradoxically solving another. That is the power you hold in your hands.”
The duke joined individual roundtable discussions after his speech, speaking with youth leaders about pressing issues and their goals for CHOGM 2020, which will be held in Kigali, Rwanda.
“I’m delighted that His Royal Highness was able to be here as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, and to speak about his inspiring work to champion the youth of the Commonwealth,” said Lord Ahmad.