The Duke of Cambridge has said he worries about the pressures his children may face if in future they came out as gay or lesbian.
Prince William said he would be “absolutely fine” if they did, but had concerns about the persecution they may face, admitting he had discussed the subject with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
He also expressed his shock at the recent bus attack on a lesbian couple, saying: “I was really appalled by that attack.”
William voiced his concerns during a visit to the London headquarters of the Albert Kennedy Trust (Akt), an LGBT charity in Hoxton, east London, dedicated to helping young people made homeless because of their sexual orientation.
He was asked the hypothetical question by a young gay man, who asked not to be identified: “If your child one day in the future said: ‘Oh I’m gay, oh I’m lesbian,’ whatever, how would you react?”
William replied: “I think you don’t really start thinking about that until you are a parent, and I think – obviously, absolutely fine by me.”
The prince, a father of three, added: “The one thing I’d be worried about is how, particularly the roles my children fill, how that is going to be interpreted and seen. So Catherine and I have been doing a lot of talking about it to make sure they were prepared.”
He added: “It worries me not because of them being gay; it worries me how everyone else will react and perceive it and the pressure is then on them.”
He told another man in the group he had started thinking about it since the births of his children, George, five, Charlotte, four and Louis, one, and it was something he was “nervous about”.
“Not because I am worried about them being gay, or anything. It’s more about the fact I’m worried about the pressure – as you all know – they’re going to face and how much harder their life could be.
“I wish we lived in a world where, like you said, it’s really normal and cool. But particularly for my family and the position that we are in, that’s the bit I’m nervous about.
“I fully support whatever decision they make, but it does worry me from a parent point of view how many barriers, hateful words, persecution and discrimination that might come. That’s the bit that really troubles me a little bit.
“That’s for all of us to try and help correct, to put that in the past and not come back to that sort of stuff.”
Tim Sigsworth, Akt’s chief executive, said the fact that a future monarch would support their children if they came out as LGBT sent “a message to the whole of society” and would “make a massive difference”.