Prince William’s ‘life-changing’ trip to New Zealand changed his Royal Family doubts

Prince William 'realised role on New Zealand trip' says Junor

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Author and royal expert Penny Junor spoke to Express.co.uk about Prince William and whether he ever felt the same sentiment as his brother Prince Harry to leave the Royal Family. It was claimed by Prince Harry that William and Charles feel “trapped” in the institution with many reports stating Prince William was a “reluctant royal” when he was younger. However, Ms Junor says while William may have had wavering thoughts in his youth it was during a trip to New Zealand in 2011 on behalf of the Queen that she believes his opinions changed.

Ms Junor told Express.co.uk: “In [Prince William’s] mid-20s, I think it was when there was a disaster in New Zealand and he went to work to represent the Queen. 

“And he realised that by being there, just because of who he was, he was making a difference there. 

“People were feeling comforted by that and I think at that point he recognised that he had a responsibility to use that position to make life better for people.” 

In 2011, when Prince William was 28, the royal visited New Zealand after an earthquake caused a huge disaster for much of the Christchurch population.

More than 160 people died from the earthquake as Prince William visited rescue teams and spoke to victims. 

Prince William also visited the country in 2019 after the Christchurch shooting and offered whatever support he could to families and locals affected. 

Ms Junor added that Prince William lived a fairly normal life while he was growing up and was not strongly involved in royal engagements. 

However, she explained that the young heir would have seen the effect that royal life had on his parents and the hard work involved.

The royal biographer said that the proposition of leaving the Royal Family and living a normal life would have been “attractive” for a young William. 

Prince Harry and Prince William's future discussed by expert

The Royal Family has been rocked by allegations that it is a “racist” institution after Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. 

She claims that an unnamed member of the Royal Family had concerns over how dark Archie’s skin would be before he was born. 

The Duchess of Sussex also appeared to suggest Archie would not receive a royal title due to the colour of his skin. 

But royal commentators point out that Meghan and Harry would have been well aware of the 1917 letters patent which clearly set out that he would not receive a title until Prince Charles became king. 

Meghan believes that as part of Prince Charles’s slimmed-down monarchy, Archie would not receive a title even when Charles becomes king. 

Prince Charles has not publically discussed his plans for when he becomes King. 

Prince William was asked during a royal engagement whether the Royal Family is racist.

He quickly replied: “We’re very much not a racist family.”

Prince Charles was also asked his opinion on the interview during a visit to a Covid pop-up clinic. 

He did not answer but was seen chuckling at the question before walking away. 

Buckingham Palace released a brief statement addressing the Oprah Winfrey interview and said that it would be investigating the matter privately. 

The statement read that some “recollections may vary” as the palace also continues its investigation of bullying by Meghan Markle. 

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