Prince William Steps Out With His New Private Secretary

the prince of wales visits the kia oval cricket ground with earthshot winners notpla
Prince William Appears With New Private SecretarySamir Hussein - Getty Images

One of the most pivotal roles in the royal household is that of the Private Secretary. And Prince William’s new right-hand man made a debt public appearance today as the Prince visited the Kia Oval Cricket Ground to highlight his ongoing support of Earthshot Prize winners.

Prince William was accompanied by Private Secretary Ian Patrick this afternoon, following his appointment being made public last month. Former government diplomat Patrick, whose LinkedIn profile says that he worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for eight years before joining a business consultancy, traveled to the engagement carrying a bright red folder. (In the picture above, he can be seen in the background, if quite blurry.) He takes over from Jean-Christophe Grey, who held the role of William’s Private Secretary from 2021. Before that, the position was held by Simon Case.

The position of Private Secretary is key to supporting the royal in their official duties. The person is the main point of contact between the royal household and other organizations as well as accompanying their royal to official engagements and taking responsibility for their working strategy.

Today, William’s aides made clear how hands-on he has been behind the scenes supporting the Earthshot Prize winners to scale up their innovations. He is said to have played a “pivotal role” helping 2022 winners Notpla secure a contract to have their seaweed packaging used in more than 50 sporting venues.

“Notpla won The Earthshot Prize for Build a Waste-Free World in 2022 and has since been supported by the Prize to increase its visibility and substantially grow its commercial traction,” Kensington Palace highlighted in a statement.

The Kia Oval Cricket Ground is situated on south London land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. The Prince of Wales inherited the Duchy from his father when he became heir. Since taking over, he has announced an initiative to build homes on Duchy land to help tackle homelessness.

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