Prince William 'unhappy' with Africa documentary says Dymond
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Reminiscing on his life during a walk around the Queen’s Sandringham estate for a festive edition of Apple’s Time to Walk audio series, William recalled his experiences in Kenya with the family of his ex-girlfriend. The father of William’s supposed “first love”, Jecca Craig, is said to have made him a conservationist.
The Duke of Cambridge met Ian Craig in 1995, when he and Prince Harry visited the family’s 55,000-acre Lewa Downs conservation ranch in the foothills of Mount Kenya.
He said: “I had such an amazing experience, where I got to see [Ian] darting an elephant for research purposes, and I must have been 16, 17, something like that.
“Touching an elephant, seeing it lying there in front of you breathing very slowly, its enormous ribs going up and down, and picking the trunk up and listening to the breathing coming out of [it] in your ear – it’s a really special, very privileged experience.
“And that, for any young guy, is like: ‘Wow, this is cool’.
“Back then, conservation was very much a case of: put wildlife over here, put people over there. Don’t let them meet.
“And Ian came along with a pretty radical idea, which was: ‘You can’t keep these two entities separate. They need to be together.’
“This is where I started to realise what the job is.
“A large part of it was community engagement, getting to meet people and understand their challenges.”
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William is now a patron of the Tusk Trust, a charity that works to conserve wildlife, stimulate community development, and provide education across Africa.
He has also collaborated on a number of occasions with WildAid to issue campaigns promoting rhino, shark, and elephant conservation.
According to the Daily Mail, the Prince fell for Ms Craig on a return trip to the ranch during a year out after he graduated from Eton.
However, they drifted apart when he went to University, where he met Kate Middleton.
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While courtiers at the time insisted that Ms Craig and William were just friends, there were countless reports about the couple before he settled down with Kate.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl, in her book ‘Kate: Our Future Queen’, outlined an incident where Ms Craig caused issues at the future king’s 21st birthday party.
The Prince was reportedly dating the Duchess of Cambridge at the time but he had invited Ms Craig to the celebrations as a friend.
According to the royal author, his ex was given one of the best seats in the house while his future wife was positioned far from the action.
Ms Nicholl wrote: “Kate didn’t know whether they had been romantically involved or not, but she noted that Jecca had been seated at the head table next to William, whereas Kate had to raise her glass to toast the prince from afar.”
However, years later Ms Craig was a guest at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridges’ wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011, while Prince William flew to Kenya five years later to watch her marry Zoological Society expert Professor Jonathan Baillie.
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