Upon graduation from university, William began to undertake public duties of his own, as well as obtaining private work experience by interning in land management at Chatsworth House and in banking at HSBC. At the age of 21, Prince William was appointed as a Counsellor of State, and first served in that capacity when the Queen was in Nigeria to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2003. For his 21st birthday, William accompanied his father on a tour of Wales, visiting the Anglesey Food Fair and opening a center for the homeless in Newport. By July 2005, he was on his first solo overseas tour, travelling to New Zealand, to participate in World War II commemorations on behalf of his grandmother in her role as Queen of New Zealand. For the 30th anniversary of his father’s charity, The Prince’s Trust, William and his brother were interviewed together for the first time by television personalities Ant & Dec. In July 2007, Prince William accompanied his grandmother’s cousin the Duke of Kent, who is president of the UK Scout Association, in opening the 21st World Scout Jamboree, celebrating the centennial of the founding of the Scout Movement.
Tina Brown said in her 2007 biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, that Prince William had, like his father, expressed a desire to become Governor-General of Australia. Prime Minister of Australia John Howard said: “We have for a long time embraced the idea that the person who occupies that post should be in every way an Australian citizen.”
In 2009, a private office was set up for William by his grandmother, with Sir David Manning as his adviser. Manning personally accompanied him in January 2010 as he toured Auckland and Wellington on behalf of the Queen; William opened the new building of the Supreme Court of New Zealand and was welcomed by a Māori chief. William succeeded Lord Attenborough in 2010 as the fifth president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In March 2011, William visited Christchurch, New Zealand, after the recent earthquake, and spoke at the memorial service at Hagley Park, on behalf of his grandmother. Upon leaving New Zealand, William travelled to Australia, to visit areas badly affected by flooding in the states of Queensland and Victoria. After twice accompanying his parents to Canada, Prince William, with his wife, toured the country and visited the United States in June and July 2011, attending Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. On 2 November, the Duke and Duchess visited the UNICEF Supply Division Centre for supplying food to malnourished African children in Copenhagen, Denmark. In September 2012, they toured Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
In April 2014, the Duke and Duchess undertook a royal tour together to New Zealand and Australia. From 20–21 September, he took his wife’s place on a tour of Malta, for the island’s 50th anniversary of its independence from Britain. On 21 October, the Duke and Duchess met the President of Singapore Tony Tan as part of his state visit to the United Kingdom. In December 2014, he met U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, publicly advocating against illegal wildlife trade.
In 2015, Prince William visited Beijing, Shanghai and Yunnan in China from 1 to 4 March. Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed him as he began the first visit to the mainland by a member of the British royal family in almost three decades.
Following his parents’ examples, William took interest in various causes from a relatively early age. His mother’s charitable work with HIV/AIDS aid and prevention and his father’s work with the natural environment and the inner-city disadvantaged directed William into those areas. He also showed a desire to focus on the needy in Africa, sometimes working with his brother’s charity, Sentebale.
William became aware of HIV/AIDS in the mid-1990s, when his mother began to take her two sons to visit shelters and clinics for those suffering from the disease. In January 2005, William and his brother volunteered at a British Red Cross aid distribution center to pack emergency supplies for countries that were affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Later, in September, William granted his patronage to Centre point, a charity that assists the homeless. During the period when his mother had been patron of Centre point, he had accompanied her on visits to its headquarters and projects.
William also worked in the children’s unit at The Royal Marsden Hospital for two days of work experience in 2005, as well as helping out in the medical research, catering, and fund raising departments. The same year, he spent two weeks in North Wales with a mountain rescue team. In May 2007, William became patron of both organizations (his mother had also previously been patron of the Royal Marsden Hospital) and he became attracted to Mountain Rescue England and Wales in order to, in his words, “highlight and celebrate the vital, selfless and courageous work of our mountain rescue organizations”.
Prince William also became a patron of the Tusk Trust in December 2005, a charity that works towards conserving wildlife and initiating community development, including providing education, across Africa. He became associated with the organization after he witnessed its work first hand in Africa. Saying “rural African initiatives that foster education, responsibility and participation in the local community light the way to conservation”, he carried out his first official duty with the trust in launching a 5,000-mile (8,000 km) bike ride across the African continent in 2007. In 2010, he also became a patron of 100 Women in Hedge Funds Philanthropic Initiatives.
In March 2011, the Duke and Duchess set up a gift fund held by The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry to allow well-wishers who wanted to give them a wedding gift to donate money to charities instead. The gift fund supported 26 charities of the couple’s choice, incorporating the armed forces, children, the elderly, art, sport and conservation. These causes are close to their hearts and reflect the experiences, passions and values of their lives so far.