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Walliams introduces William as ‘not the ginger one’ at awards ceremony

The Duke of Cambridge gave a speech at the National SkillForce Prince William Award Graduation event at the University of Birmingham.

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Duke of Cambridge and David Walliams

The Duke of Cambridge has teamed up with TV star and children’s author David Walliams to present prizes to primary school children who have made progress in building their confidence.

William arrived at the University of Birmingham to carry out the first of three engagements in the West Midlands on Tuesday to a rapturous round of applause from all attendees.

But he was greeted by Walliams, the host of the ceremony, with a few jokes at his expense, which prompted laughter from the children.

In his opening speech, the Britain’s Got Talent judge said of William: “He’s not the ginger one, he’s the other one.

“But he is the most important one – even though George Clooney didn’t show up to his wedding.”

William made a speech at the National SkillForce Prince William Award Graduation Ceremony which celebrated the achievements of children from across the UK.

The ceremony played host to 146 students from 62 schools.

Mentors and instructors were also honoured for their achievements.

Speaking at the ceremony, William said: “This award has flourished over its first year, positively impacting the lives of over 7,500 children.

David Walliams and the Duke of Cambridge
The Britain’s Got Talent judge made a few jokes at the senior royal’s expense (Aaron Chown/PA)

“My hope is that other people will see what I saw when I gave my name to this award.

“Children and young people today need our help more than ever. They face a level of pressure that previous generations simply did not experience.

“I have spoken before about the burden of social media and the sense of being on-call 24/7, which can affect everyone’s mental wellbeing.”

Duke of Cambridge with an award winner
The Duke of Cambridge presents The Prince William Award to Nikki Laker (Aaron Chown/PA)

The duke then asked the children to give him a wave if they were a graduate, adding: “I can see a few small hands. Huge, huge congratulations. You have worked so hard to gain this award and will now carry this achievement with you.”

The ceremony marked the successful first year of the Prince William Award – a scheme which aims to help young people build their character, confidence and resilience.

Children from as far away as Aberdeen, Durham, Wales and St Albans sat around tables inside the Aston Webb Great Hall, along with parents and award mentors.

The prince then handed prizes to those who won awards at the ceremony, posing for photos and passing on his congratulations to the winners.

One young girl who was named Graduate of the Year at the ceremony said it was exciting to meet the heir to the throne.

Nine-year-old Molly Chandler, who was nominated for the prize because of the progress she had made in building her confidence, shared what the duke had said to her on the stage.

She said: “He asked me what my favourite part (of the award scheme) was. I said all of it.”

Molly came from Swindon for the ceremony, and said she had to get up at 4am in order to arrive on time.

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