Britain’s LGBT community recognized Prince William’s dedication and advocacy for anti-bullying campaigns by awarding him the “Straight Ally of the Year” honour at the 2017 LGBT Awards on Friday (May 12). The royal was unable to attend the ceremony, but shared his delight and appreciation for the award via a video message.
"In recent years I've become passionate about what we can do to protect people from bullying, particularly online,” said the father of two, who promotes anti-bullying initiatives through a variety of charities, including the Diana Award, which was set up in the memory of his mother Princess Diana (tag). “It is 2017, and nobody should be bullied for their sexuality, or for any other reason,” stated William before emphasizing the importance of embracing one’s true self. "It's so important to be proud of the person you are,” he exclaimed.
The Duke of Cambridge made history last year when he became the first member of the British Royal Family to appear on the cover of a gay magazine. Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude magazine, reached out to the prince to encourage him to bring an LGBT voice to the conversation around bullying and its impact on mental health. William invited Matthew and other members of the community to Kensington Palace for a frank discussion, which inspired the future king to use his position to speak out on the subject.
Over the past few months, William, along with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, have been working to end the stigma surrounding mental health through their Heads Together campaign. They even recruited Lady Gaga to aid their cause, with William hopping on Facetime to talk to the singer about her own struggles with mental health, while encouraging her fans to do the same.