"I'm not just an ornament," says Prince William

Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:37pm EDT
 
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By Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain's Prince William said Wednesday he does not want to be seen as a mere "ornament" when it comes to royal duties and he and his brother, Harry, want to build on the charitable work of his family.

"There's a time and a place for being an ornament as such -- or, you know, shaking hands and being at an engagement and showing support in that way," William told BBC television.

"But I think there's an awful lot more (to be gained) from actually doing stuff. And this is an example of what I just want to be actually more involved in."

William, 27, who is second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, was speaking at a meeting of the Princes' Charities Forum set up in 2006 which brings together 20 diverse groups, including charities, twice a year.

Prince Harry, 25, who like William is pursuing a military career, was absent from the meeting at St. James's Palace near Buckingham Palace because he was on a helicopter training course.

"His flying is not very good, so he has to do more than me," William joked.

He said the brothers wanted to be "more involved" and were determined to be seen to make a difference.

To underscore their commitment, William said, the princes were in the midst of setting up a charitable foundation.   Continued...

 
<p>Britain's Prince William speaks to artist Bridget Riley (unseen) as he stands in front of her work Cataract 3, during his tour of of the Whitechapel Gallery in London May 11, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Winning</p>