Ronnie Wood may have secured a new Rolling Stones fan after he encouraged the Prince of Wales to see the band’s tour next year as they celebrated conservationists.
William and Wood met at the Tusk Conservation Awards which recognises leading wildlife pioneers, with both men long-term supporters of the event’s organisers, Africa-based charity Tusk Trust.
In a speech at the event, the prince said: “From honouring rangers to celebrating researchers and championing community leaders, it is evenings like this that provide the vital impetus to effect positive change.”
The Rolling Stones have recently released their Hackney Diamonds album to critical acclaim and it appears the prince wanted to chat music with the guitarist and his wife Sally Humphreys.
Wood, 76, said after his chat with the future king: “We were talking about the tour and I said ‘come on, you’ve got to come out on tour’ and we were talking about the new album and everything.
“William said (he would) if we could get Taylor Swift there.”
The guitarist told the prince US popstar Swift had sung with Stones’ frontman Sir Mick Jagger and said William replied, “I’m there then.”
With the combined age of the Rolling Stones’ surviving members – Wood, Sir Mick and Keith Richards – well over 200, the musician joked: “We had to talk about conservation – with an old band like ours.”
The awards, held at London’s Savoy Hotel, are staged by the Tusk Trust, which William supports as patron.
The rock star and his wife showed William two life-size models they had decorated for Tusk’s gorilla trail, an art installation around Covent Garden, with the 15 artworks raising more than £130,000 for Tusk’s work when auctioned.
Among the award winners was Fanny Minesi, general director of Friends of Bonobos of Congo, who received the prize for Conservation in Africa for her work rescuing endangered bonobos from poachers, giving them sanctuary, and rewilding in Congo’s rainforests.
William said in his speech: “This event gives us a rare moment to reflect on the significant achievements of our award winners and to recognise the challenges they face each and every day.
“It is also a reminder that Africa, its people, and its biodiversity are disproportionately affected by the impacts of a warming planet. Impacts which are, for the most part, not driven by those most affected.
“Those living in Africa emit just a quarter of the emissions than that of the average global citizen, yet the African continent is set to incur disproportionate loss and damage from climate change.”
“But we do have the power to change this and the stories we have heard tonight provide both optimism and hope.”