Prince William has broken his silence during the Christmas holidays following the death of the celebrated conservationist Richard Leakey.
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Sharing via the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official Twitter account, he wrote: "I was very sad to hear of Richard Leakey’s death. He was an inspirational & courageous conservationist and I was privileged to meet him.
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"He transformed the Kenyan Wildlife Service & valiantly spearheaded efforts to stop elephant poaching. Conservation has lost a true visionary. W."
Richard passed away aged 77 on Sunday, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was among those to pay tribute, saying: "Besides his distinguished career in the public service, Dr. Leakey is celebrated for his prominent role in Kenya’s vibrant civil society where he founded and successfully ran a number of institutions." He added that Richard had "served our country with distinction".
Richard sadly passed away aged 77
It has been a sad time for the royal family, as the Queen has been in mourning following the loss of her close friend and lady-in-waiting Lady Farnham, who died at the age of 90 in late December 2021.
Lady Farnham was the monarch's Lady of the Bedchamber since 1987 and a long-time support and confidante for the Queen, even accompanying her to a Diamond Jubilee service of thanksgiving in 2012 after the Duke of Edinburgh was hospitalised and could not attend. The news follows the loss of another of Her Majesty's closest friends, the Duchess of Grafton, who died aged 101 on 3 December.
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Her Majesty also lost her husband, Prince Philip, in April 2021, and paid a loving tribute to him during her traditional Christmas Day speech. She said: "His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible.
The Queen paid tribute to her husband during her Christmas speech
"That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him. But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings; and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas."
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