Prince William says ‘first love’ Jecca Craig’s father made him a conservationist 


Prince William says ‘first love’ Jecca Craig’s father – who he met while visiting the family’s 55,000-acre ranch in Mount Kenya – made him a conservationist

  • The Duke of Cambridge spoke with deep affection about the father of Jecca Craig, 
  • Jecca Craig She is widely considered to have been William’s first romantic love
  • Mother-of-two Ms Craig is a conservationist and helped to found Panthera, which campaigns to save wild cats










The Duke of Cambridge speaks with deep affection about the father of Jecca Craig, widely considered to have been William’s first love.

He met Ian Craig when he and Prince Harry visited the family’s 55,000-acre Lewa Downs conservation ranch in the foothills of Mount Kenya in 1995.

He fell for Ms Craig when he returned to Kenya during a gap year after Eton, but they drifted apart before he went to St Andrews University, where he met his future wife, Kate Middleton.

‘I had such an amazing experience, where I got to see [Ian] darting an elephant for research purposes, and I must have been 16, 17, something like that,’ he recalls.

Prince William fell for Jecca Craig (pictured) when he returned to Kenya during a gap year after Eton, but they drifted apart before he went to St Andrews University, where he met his future wife, Kate Middleton.

Prince William fell for Jecca Craig (pictured) when he returned to Kenya during a gap year after Eton, but they drifted apart before he went to St Andrews University, where he met his future wife, Kate Middleton.

William met Ian Craig when he and Prince Harry visited the family¿s 55,000-acre Lewa Downs conservation ranch in the foothills of Mount Kenya in 1995

William met Ian Craig when he and Prince Harry visited the family’s 55,000-acre Lewa Downs conservation ranch in the foothills of Mount Kenya in 1995

‘Touching an elephant, seeing it lying there in front of you breathing very slowly, its enormous ribs going up and down, and picking the trunk up and listening to the breathing coming out of [it] in your ear – it’s a really special, very privileged experience. And that, for any young guy, is like: “Wow, this is cool”.’

He continues: ‘Back then, conservation was very much a case of: put wildlife over here, put people over there. Don’t let them meet. And Ian came along with a pretty radical idea, which was: “You can’t keep these two entities separate. They need to be together.” This is where I started to realise what the job is.

‘A large part of it was community engagement, getting to meet people and understand their challenges.’

Like William, mother-of-two Ms Craig is a conservationist and helped to found Panthera, which campaigns to save wild cats, and Stop Ivory, which seeks to protect elephants.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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