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‘Chill out and fall back!’ Prince William under fire as Duke suffers brutal dig

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The Duke of Cambridge suffered a brutal dig on Amol Rajan’s Radio 4 Programme, ‘Rethink Population’. One of the guests on the show, which discussed global population growth, said the Duke’s comments were a “misattribution”, telling him to “chill out and fall back”. Speaking at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London in November 2021, Prince William said: “The increasing pressure on Africa’s wildlife and wild spaces as a result of human population presents a huge challenge for conservationists, as it does the world over.”

Dr Wangui Kimari, a junior research fellow at the Institute for Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town, told Radio 4 listeners that we should be paying closer attention to how “young white people” live.

She said: “At the end of the day, I don’t think the issue is how many kids you have.

“We really should be thinking about other things. For example, how people live.

“If Kenyans lived like a teenager in the US, who lives like about 50 Africans if you think about all the appliances they have, the combined carbon emissions that would result from their one year in 2021 – that would be a big issue.

“But no one is focusing on how young white people are living in the US.

“They are saying that this coming anarchy or this political instability is going to come from the continent.”

Criticising the Duke’s comments, she said: “I would like to flag also what Prince William said, just to reference this environmental impact that this African youth bulge is meant to be having, about African population growth.

“First of all, Africa is the least densely populated country so just chill out and fall back, if you don’t mind my crass expression.”

She added: “I think this fixation on African birthrates and African populations becomes insidious and it filters into all of these discourses.

“For me, really it’s a misattribution.”

William made similar comments in 2017 when he said that Africa’s “rapidly growing human population” was putting its wildlife and habitats under “enormous pressure”.

He faced a barrage of criticism in the wake of the Tusk Conservation Awards.

Journalist Nadine Batchelor-Hunt mocked the Prince, noting his own choice to have three children.

She wrote on Twitter: “Europe population density: 72.9 per square kilometre

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“Africa population density: 36.4 per square kilometre

“Prince William, with two kids and another on the way: it is clear Africa are having too many children here.”

One Twitter user said: “To blame African civilians is to totally misunderstand African history.”

While another added: “He should spend his time reading good history books and raising his many children and spending time with his very huge family spread out across the world.

“His opinion is sewage.”

However, Population Matters, a UK charity campaigning to minimise population growth welcomed the remarks, but also called for British people to have fewer children.

The charity’s director Robin Maynard told The Times: “The prince rightly draws attention to human population as a key driver of wildlife loss globally but there’s a wider context, with high consumption in rich, developed countries like the UK also driving habitat destruction as forests are cleared for crops to feed UK and European livestock.

“The UK has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most nature depleted countries in the world.

“The most effective action we can take to cut our consumption is to choose smaller families, a choice not available to hundreds of millions of women elsewhere.”

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