We are delighted to have HM King Charles serving as ZSL’s Royal Patron.

This continues an unbroken tradition of the reigning British Monarch being our Royal Patron, starting with King William IV in 1830.

HM The King served as our vice-patron when his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, was our Patron.

His longstanding commitment to biodiversity and the environment aligns with our own efforts to drive nature recovery, and together we can work towards our shared endeavour to create a world where wildlife thrives.

We have an enduring connection with HM The King, who first visited London Zoo when he was just one year old to see Brumas, our newborn polar bear cub.

King Charles at London Zoo
King Charles and Prince William at London Zoo
On a visit to us in 2013

He returned on several occasions thereafter, including a visit to the old ‘Pets Corner’ (where Animal Adventure now stands) to ride a pony at five years old. At aged 13 he joined our Exceptional Young Zoologist (XYZ) Club, which was aimed at getting children interested in zoology.

He visited on more serious business in 2013 when he toured Tiger Territory and met with ZSL conservationists working to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.
The announcement of His Majesty’s Patronage of ZSL in May 2024 was timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of his Coronation.

Prince Charles as a child

ZSL’s President Sir Jim Smith said at the time: “ZSL is honoured that King Charles has chosen to become our Patron. It continues an unbroken tradition of almost 200 years, and a close connection between the Society and the Royal Family.  We were honoured to have had the late Queen as our Patron, and the late Duke of Edinburgh as our President. The Duke co-founded our scientific arm, the Institute of Zoology, now a world-renowned centre of conservation science. Our goal – of creating a world in which wildlife thrives – is aligned with the vision of HM The King to ensure that humanity learns to live in harmony with nature. We are proud to work in support of his vision.”

CEO Matthew Gould adds: “King Charles has spoken up for nature his whole life, long before it was fashionable or easy to do so. He has championed wildlife and – together with the Prince of Wales – led efforts to halt the illegal wildlife trade and sought innovative answers to the question of how humanity and nature can thrive together.  ZSL is honoured to have such a champion of nature as our Patron.”