Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is a familiar face on UK newsstands, particularly as media outlets have raced in recent years to cover his growing family and the causes they’ve decided to champion. Now, the 33-year-old prince is using that public interest to show his support for the LGBTQ community, by appearing in the July issue of British gay lifestyle magazine Attitude.
Attitude often publishes interviews with prominent political figures on the issue of gay rights. Former UK prime minister Tony Blair featured on the magazine’s cover in 2005. Current UK prime minister David Cameron, campaigning for election at the time, appeared on the cover of its March 2010 issue, and spoke to the magazine about his previously anti-gay positions. With his appearance, Prince William, featured in a close-up portrait revealed Wednesday (June 15), became the first member of the royal family to appear on the cover of a gay magazine.
Attitude has a print circulation of over 50,000 and attracts 2 million visitors to its website each month, according to a spokesperson for the magazine.
For the accompanying feature story, Prince William invited a group of representatives from the LGBT community to Kensington Palace to share their stories of childhood bullying. The conversation was moderated by Attitude’s editor-in-chief Todd Matthews, and included a discussion about the mental health implications of homophobic and transphobic bullying.
“No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason, and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives,” William said in a statement following the conversation.
The group included Paris Lees, a British transgender activist and journalist who has tried to raise awareness about the issue of transphobic bullying, and Matt May of Young Minds, a charity dedicated to improving the mental health of teenagers.
“It’s amazing to think that we could potentially be having a massive impact on the next generation of LGBT people,” May said in a behind-the-scenes video of the conversation made by Attitude.
“It feels like being part of something that I would hope can create enough good energy that there will be a time when childhood experiences do not have to be like this for any LGBT people,” attendee Charles Donovan said.
Photographer Leigh Keily shot the cover image of the Prince shortly after the discussion, according to Attitude.
The issue will be available to download online and will hit newsstands on June 22. It went to print a few days before 49 people were killed in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, an event the magazine acknowledged in its release about the historic cover. “Around the world, LGBT+ people experience hatred and violence every day,” the magazine’s statement reads. “Such violence does not exist in a vacuum but snowballs from intolerance and bullying that begins in classrooms, too often comes from politicians or religious leaders and is often not treated with respect by the media.”