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Prince William jokes about his bodyguards during visit to Battersea

Royals are always accompanied by at least one personal protection officer when in public

prince william waving

Whenever members of the royal family are out and about in public, they're usually accompanied by at least one personal protection officer, who discreetly walks by their side and is sometimes in plain clothes. But Prince William has joked that during a visit to Africa last week, he noticed that some of the endangered rhinos he saw had even more bodyguards than him.

William was speaking at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in Battersea, when he said: "It is heartening to see so many of you here today, united by a common desire to end the illegal wildlife trade. I have just returned from a visit to Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya. I saw some tremendous work being done to intercept the trade and keep animals as safe as possible in their natural habitat."

prince william bodyguards© Photo: Getty Images

Prince William and his father Charles pictured with their group of bodyguards when William started university 

He continued: "Some of the rhinos I saw are under such threat that they have more bodyguards than I do!" On a serious note, William, who is passionate about putting an end to poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, said: "Wouldn't it be better though if the demand for rhino horn dropped to the extent that they didn't need anyone to protect them at all?"

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The future King went on to say that in the past decade, over a thousand park rangers have been killed, and that punishments for poachers are too lenient. "It is heartbreaking to think that by the time my children George, Charlotte and Louis are in their twenties, elephants, rhinos and tigers might well be extinct in the wild," said the father-of-three. "I for one am not willing to look my children in the eye and say that we were the generation that let this happen on our watch."

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William visited Africa last month where he joined rangers on early morning treks to try and spot endangered animals. He managed to see elephants and giraffes as well as the very rare black rhino. The Prince has long campaigned to end the trade and is president of the United for Wildlife organisation, as well as patron of Tusk charity.

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