As the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London enters its second day, Prince William has attended a forum bringing together representatives from the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs and philanthropists, who support and invest in their work. The Duke of Cambridge also revealed that he enjoys a Nandos!
The forum – being held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster – is exploring how the Commonwealth can encourage, empower and connect emerging businessmen and women.Embed from Getty Images
Leading the round-table discussion was someone very familiar to the Prince: Robert Pattle, Vice Chairman of Standard Chartered Private Bank is a former equerry of The Prince of Wales and also served as Master of the Household at Clarence House. Chatting to delegates before taking his seat, William joked: “He’s very organised, he’s very impressive. I don’t know where he’s learned that from!”
One of the delegates took the opportunity to wish the Duke well as he prepares to become a father of three, with wife Kate due to give birth any day now. Simon McMurtrie, of Thames Chairman and Consultancy Services, told him: “Good luck with number three child,” to which William smiled and said “Thanks.”
In a speech to the the forum, The Duke of Cambridge said: “As I have travelled across the Commonwealth and here in the UK, I have always been impressed by the ingenuity, the drive and commitment of those I meet behind small and medium-sized companies particularly.
“Just now, I was fascinated to talk in more detail with some of you about the business ventures you have championed – so successfully – across the Commonwealth.”
Continuing his address, the Prince remarked: “I heard how impact investment and philanthropy are helping to encourage social change and how many of you here in this room are empowering others to achieve the same.
“When Catherine and I visited India in 2016, we were completely blown away by the innovation on display in the Indian businesses we met – from Formula E-Cars and new ways of teaching braille.
“I understand this is the first time the Youth and Business Forums have met together in CHOGM week. But given the importance of the issues you are discussing today – from tackling youth unemployment to nurturing entrepreneurs of the future – I hope that this joint session will continue at future CHOGMs as we go forward.”
He added: “Just as importantly, I hope today and this week will bring opportunities, many many opportunities, to build meaningful networks and valuable partnerships for you to take forward.”
Another delegate present was Robert Brozin, who co-founded restaurant chain Nandos in South Africa 31 years ago. William told the philanthropist that he was a fan of chicken restaurant, thanks to being introduced to it by his police protection officer. Pointing to the protection officer, William said: “This man here is your biggest fan, he’s introduced me to Nandos. It’s very good. He should buy a stake in Nandos.”
Brozin, who co-founded Nandos in Johannesburg in 1987, said: “I’m not surprised he’s eaten at Nando’s. The beauty of Prince Harry and Prince William is that they’re really accessible and they are guys that go out a lot – I’m very happy that they’ve tried it. I was certain they would have tried it because they’re so accessible they’re people’s people, which is so nice.”
He added: “I want to share with the young Commonwealth entrepreneurs about the opportunities that are available and how to reach out.” Asked about the secret of his success he replied: “The people that work for us and the product obviously, it’s the people that make the chicken.”
The Royal also spoke about his ambitions for the Royal Foundation, which he founded with Prince Harry and The Duchess of Cambridge. Following the Royal Wedding, Meghan Markle will join the foundation as its fourth patron. The Duke told delegates: “We, as the Royal Foundation, can help lead, but if we can connect to some of those bigger foundations in the world and come together with one message, imagine the focus and the change. I like the idea of a team. It’s all about how we work together.”