Prince William Gives Speech About Illegal Ivory Trade on Chinese Television

The speech comes as China's president arrives in the U.K. for a four-day visit.

— -- The Duke of Cambridge has recorded a speech on the illegal ivory trade that will air on Chinese State TV Channel CCTV1.

"In the 33 years since I was born we have lost around 70 percent of Africa's elephant population," Prince William told viewers in today's speech. "At this rate, children born this year,like my daughter Charlotte, will see the last wild elephants and rhinos die before their 25th birthday."

The TV appearance, which is expected to reach 100 million people, coincides with Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the U.K. President Xi arrives in the U.K. tonight and will be a guest at Buckingham Palace for the next four days.

"My rejection of ivory today is not a judgement of past generations, it is an acceptance of the world as i find it today, and the world I want my children, George and Charlotte, to inherit," the Duke of Cambridge said, referring to his two children with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince William recorded the speech today at the Maughan Library at King's College London in front of an audience of about 80 people. His appearance will be broadcast on Chinese TV several weeks from now.

"Let us not tell our children the sad tale as we watched the last elephants rhinos and tigers died out, but the inspiring story of how we turned the tide and preserved them for all humanity," the Duke encouraged viewers.

Prince William raised the ivory trade issue with President Xi during his visit to Beijing in March. Nearly 70 percent of the world's ivory goes to China.

The program will be a series of conversations for the program "Let’s Talk."

William's father, Prince Charles, has had a complicated relationship with the Chinese government given his longstanding support for the Dalai Lama and Tibet. Prince Charles will greet President Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan tomorrow at the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade but he will not attend the state banquet with the queen.

On the other hand, Prince Williams will not only have a private meeting with President Xi, where he’s again expected to raise the issue of banning ivory and other products, but he and his wife, Princess Kate, are also expected to attend the state banquet.

Neither Kensington Palace nor Buckingham Palace have confirmed William and Kate's attendance at the banquet, but the palace doesn’t generally confirm guests in advance.

Today's speech will mark the third time Prince William has spoken on the subject of illegal ivory trade in the past year.

The Duke of Cambridge said a few words in Chinese and reminded the Chinese people, "Most of our most important conversations we have in our lives take place in the family home. The home is where we learn from our parents and grandparents, where we teach our children, and share our stories and hopes for the future."