Prince William made waves Tuesday after being the first of the British royal family to openly condemn homophobia and LGBT bullying. The prince took part in a seminar on bullying at Hammersmith Academy in London, England and made clear his stance on the subject of young students who are bullied by others for their sexual orientation.
“I would start on that side [comfort the victim and end up here [confront the bully],” William said, while referring to a chart that was used to describe approaches to combating bullying, the queer publication Pink News reported. The prince emphasized how he would confront bullying head-on if he encountered it. "I usually find myself right in the middle of problems, so that's pretty much where I'd be," William reportedly said.
The session at Hammersmith Academy was part of the work that William does with the Diana Award, a charity named for his late mother, Princess Diana of Wales, that seeks to end bullying in schools. The program is used in 3,000 schools and has been taught to 16,000 ambassadors.
The royal family has historically avoided talking about issues related to homosexuality and homophobia. Queen Elizabeth II, in particular, though outspoken in her condemnation of all forms of discrimination has been criticized for never explicitly supporting same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom. "We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or other grounds," read a charter signed by the queen in 2013, as reported by the Guardian.
Same-sex marriage is legal in most of the U.K., except for in Northern Ireland. Many leaders from the Church of England as well as from the U.K. Parliament have criticized the 2013 passage of the law that allowed for gay marriage, and discrimination against gay people of all ages is still a problem in the U.K., according to locals.
“He hopes it will help de-stigmatize bullying issues in schools,” said a Kensington Palace spokesperson on William's support of anti-bullying initiatives, as reported by Pink News.