In the wake of the devastating shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse, the world has come together to honor the lives lost and shed light on the ongoing struggles of the LGBT+ community. Vigils have taken place in countries around the globe, politicians and world leaders have expressed their sympathies, and millions of dollars have been raised for the victims.
And now, in an unprecedented move that no other member of the British Royal Family has ever made before, the Duke of Cambridge has graced the cover of LGBT+ magazine Attitude to make a powerful statement of support for the community.
On May 12, Attitude hosted a meeting at Kensington Palace in London where the Duke of Cambridge met with a group of LGBT+ people to listen to their stories and hear how being bullied and experiencing homophobia has had extreme impacts on their mental health. At that time, he had no idea what was to come in Orlando, only that LGBT Pride Month was approaching and this was a cause close to his heart.
Visibly moved by the meeting, the future King of England condemned the hatred and abuse the community has faced and came down against bullying of any sort, saying, “No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives.”
For those who met with the Duke of Cambridge in the intimate gathering, the experience was life-changing. One, in particular, hopes that having the support of the Royal Family will help change the course of history for future LGBT children:
“To be able to come here, to both share my experience and to hear about the similar experiences of other people, and to share those experiences with the Duke of Cambridge, it feels like being a part of something that, I would hope, can create enough good energy that there’ll be a time when childhood experiences do not have to be like this for any LGBT people.”
This is not the first time the Duke of Cambridge has spoken out in support of the LGBT community and against bullying of any kind. Back in September 2015, His Royal Highness attended a seminar on bullying at Hammersmith Academy in London. The event was in support of the #Back2School anti-bullying campaign and focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual bullying specifically.
At the time, it made headlines because it was the first time a member of the British Royal Family had ever publicly supported the LGBT community. But thankfully, it was just the beginning.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry, have spent the last few years championing causes around mental health, bullying, and abuse — traveling the world, penning personal essays, and giving powerful speeches. According to The Royal Family Facebook page, “The fight against bullying is a key priority of The Duke’s work. His Royal Highness recently established a taskforce on the prevention of cyberbullying, and is leading the Heads Together campaign on mental health and wellbeing along with The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.”
It is both heartwarming and encouraging to see this new, more modern generation of royals using their positions of influence to shed light on the most pressing issues our generation faces. They could be playing polo and shying away from controversial issues. Instead, they are using their platforms to generate discussion and promote unity, understanding, and compassion.
And if you ask us, that, is the marking of truly great leaders.
Go behind the scenes of the Duke’s meeting in this video, released by Attitude magazine:More On