History in the making. Prince William posed for the cover of Attitude magazine’s July 2016 issue, making him the first-ever British royal to appear on the front page of a gay publication.
In the cover photo, which was shot by Leigh Keily, the Duke of Cambridge, 33, smiles while wearing a white button-down shirt — quite a different approach for the magazine, which often features shirtless male stars on its covers.
Prince William invited Attitude editor Matthew Todd and nine members of the LGBT community to Kensington Palace to discuss the mental health ramifications of bullying exactly one month before the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.
“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,” he told the magazine on May 12. “The young gay, lesbian and transgender individuals I met through Attitude are truly brave to speak out and to give hope to people who are going through terrible bullying right now. Their sense of strength and optimism should give us all encouragement to stand up to bullying wherever we see it.”
The Duke of Cambridge continued, “What I would say to any young person reading this who’s being bullied for their sexuality: Don’t put up with it — speak to a trusted adult, a friend, a teacher, Childline, Diana Award or some other service and get the help you need. You should be proud of the person you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of.”
The LGBT community representatives who spoke with his royal highness explained how their individual experiences with bullying led to “low self-esteem, suicide attempts, eating disorders, depression and drug addiction, including, in one case, the death of a young man after an unintentional overdose,” according to a press release.
“The Duke of Cambridge is working hard to support the fight against bullying and to help break the stigma around mental health,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said in a statement. “He has established a task force on the prevention of cyberbullying and along with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is leading the Heads Together campaign on mental health and well-being. He knows that LGBT young people suffer unacceptably high rates of bullying and he was grateful to Attitude for facilitating such a serious conversation on this topic. He was moved by the stories he heard and impressed by the positivity and courage of the people he met.”
The July 2016 issue of Attitude magazine is available to download now from pocketmags.com/attitude or to order by post from newsstand.co.uk/attitude (for UK publications) in shops from June 22.
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