Heritage

Prince William Visits a Children's Hospice That Was Opened By His Mother, Princess Diana

The Duke was there to celebrate the organization's 30th anniversary.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / ANTHONY DEVLIN
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During a busy visit to Central England this morning, during which he toured a children's hospice opened by his mother, Princess Diana, Prince William opened up about the importance of developing resilience in young children. It's surely a topic with which he is too familiar.

The Duke visited Acorns Hospice in Birmingham to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The center, which provides specialized hospice care for children and their families, was opened by William's mother in 1988.

William spent time meeting one on one with children and their families as well as visiting some of the facilities, like the hydrotherapy pool.


Prince William visiting Acorns Hospice.

It was not the Prince's only engagement that day devoted to children's welfare. Earlier in the day, he had stopped by the University of Birmingham to present a series of special awards to children from schools around the UK. Today's ceremony marked the first SkillForce UK Prince William Award Graduation.

The initiative, which William became patron of in 2009, aims to support children by helping to build their character and develop their self-esteem. The Duke of Cambridge shared in his speech that, "this award has flourished over its first year, positively impacting the lives of almost seven and a half thousand children."

According to a tweet from Kensington Palace, the organization manages character-building workshops and projects each week in different schools which are led by instructors from SkillForce UK. Many of the instructors are former members of the British Armed Forces.


Prince William presenting an award to Caleb Tindall.

"Most of you have served in the Armed Forces and now continue your dedication in education: encouraging young people to be their very best," the Duke of Cambridge said to the instructors who were present during his speech. 

William also spoke of the importance of focusing on character goals in raising successful children.

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"Good academic results are, of course important, but strength of character—the confidence to stand up and be counted and the ability to keep going in the face of adversity are essential if young people are to flourish," he said.

When the ceremony concluded, Prince William took the time to go from table to table to chat with the SkillForce's newest graduates to discuss some of the things they've learned by taking part in the program.

For his last stop of the day, Prince William made an appearance at Mary Stevens Park in Stourbridge to unveil a statue of Major Frank Foley CMG, who saved the lives of over 10,000 Jews in the 1920s and '30s.


Prince William standing next to the newly unveiled statue.

"Major Foley was an MI6 officer, who worked undercover as a Passport Control Officer in the British Consulate in Berlin. Major Foley provided visas to those who feared persecution under Nazi racial laws & ultimately saved their lives by allowing them to exit the country," Kensington Palace shared on its official Twitter account.

To conclude the special day, William spent time with members of Foley's family as well as some descendants of the people he helped save to remember his life and heroism.

Did you know Prince William was doing this today?

Yes, I follow his work closely.

No, but it's all so sweet!

SUBMIT MY ANSWER

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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