Prince William makes secret visit to MI6 ahead of major royal event

Prince William wearing green velvet tux
Prince William visited MI6 (Getty)

The Prince of Wales has made a private visit to MI6, it has been revealed.

Prince William, 41, met with the Secret Intelligence Service on Thursday, according to an entry in the Court Circular, which records all of the royal family's official engagements.

The visit was not publicised in advance and no further details have been disclosed by Kensington Palace.

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The future king carried out a similar visit in February 2022, just hours before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, although it was understood at the time that the engagement had been in William's diary for a number of weeks.

William was also joined by wife Kate for meetings at MI6 in 2017 and 2012, as the royal family has a long tradition of supporting the country's security services.

London - MI6 Headquarters
The SIS building, the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service or MI6 on the banks of the Thames (Getty)

In November 2021, the Prince also visited MI5 – the Security Service – at 12 Millbank.

And back in 2019, William spent three weeks quietly working with each of the UK's Intelligence Services – MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – working full-time alongside operatives and agents to get an understanding of their crucial roles.

Speaking at the end of the placement, the then Duke of Cambridge said at the time: "Spending time inside our security and intelligence agencies, understanding more about the vital contribution they make to our national security, was a truly humbling experience.

"These agencies are full of people from everyday backgrounds doing the most extraordinary work to keep us safe. They work in secret, often not even able to tell their family and friends about the work they do or the stresses they face."

Queen Elizabeth at MI5 headquarters
Queen Elizabeth at MI5's headquarters in February 2020 (Getty)

He added: "They are driven by an unrivalled patriotism and dedication to upholding the values of this countryWe all owe them deep gratitude for the difficult and dangerous work they do."

King Charles and the late Queen Elizabeth II have also paid visits to the Secret Intelligence Service over the years.

William's next public appearance

William's private engagement comes after he travelled to Cardiff on Tuesday to learn more about businesses and organisations utilising the benefits of seaweed.

The Prince made a quip about a childhood accident which left him with a Harry Potter scar on his forehead as he was shown a seaweed-produced golf tee. When asked if he played golf, William replied: "No – the last time I played golf…" and pointed to the scar on his head.

Prince William's scar from golf club in 1999
William's scar is above his left eyebrow (Getty)

And on Monday, William met with the England team and head coach Gareth Southgate at St George's Park in Burton upon Trent to wish them luck ahead of the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.

In a rallying speech to the players, the father-of-three shared some advice from his son, Prince Louis: "I was on the school run this morning with the children and I said 'What shall I say to the England team today?'.

"The best bit of advice I got to ask you was to eat twice the amount you normally would eat.

"So I then had visions of all of you running around with massive great tummies and loads of stitches on the pitch so I think maybe take my youngest’s advice with a pinch of salt."

Prince William speaks with Gareth Southgate
The Prince of Wales speaks with England manager Gareth Southgate during a visit to St George's Park (Alamy)

William is also expected to take part in the King's birthday parade – known as Trooping the Colour – in London on Saturday.

It's not known whether he will be joined by Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis or whether the Princess of Wales will make an appearance amid her cancer treatment.