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Last updated at 17:13 BST, Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Royal charity action role


23 September 2009

Prince William has been speaking for the first time about his charitable work. The Prince is patron of 12 organisations. He says he wants to be more than just a royal 'ornament'.

Peter Hunt

Prince William


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This is part of Prince William's solution to an age-old royal challenge - what to do as a future king while you wait to fulfil your destiny. As well as pursuing his military career, William has been encouraging the charities he's patron of to work together. This has led, for example, to the mountain rescue service taking some young homeless people from the charity, Centrepoint, up a Cumbrian mountain to improve their self-confidence. Prince William says he's trying to make a difference.

Prince William: 'I think there's a time and a place for being an ornament. You know, shaking hands and being at an engagement and showing support in that way. But I think there's an awful lot more from actually doing stuff, and this is an example of what I just want to actually be more involved in, doing a slightly different angle on it.'

Prince William and Prince Harry are also setting up a charitable foundation so they can give grants to organisations they support.

Peter Hunt, BBC News


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an age-old royal challenge

a very old problem or puzzle for people in the royal family

to fulfil your destiny

to do what you were born or destined to do (for example Prince William was born to be King)


trying to do or achieve something, usually over a long period of time

he's patron of

he's a very important supporter of

to improve their self-confidence

to make them feel more confident about their own abilities and themselves, to give them a more positive attitude about what they can do and achieve

to make a difference

to make things better, to improve them

there's a time and a place for being an ornament

while it's appropriate at certain times to be someone that people want to look at, to be on display, at other times, it isn't. (An ornament is an object that is nice to look at but not very useful)

being at an engagement

attending a public function

actually doing stuff

being actively involved, participating (rather than just being an observer)

doing a slightly different angle

thinking about things in a different or unconventional way (note: the usual expression is 'coming at it from a different angle')

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