Prince William courted controversy after going hunting deer and wild boar on the Duke of Westminster ’s Spanish estate – just a day before he was due to make a public plea to end the illegal wildlife trade.

In the video message, the Duke of Cambridge and his father, Prince Charles, called on people to act now to save endangered animals like rhinos, elephants and tigers.

There is no suggestion the hunt in the rural area of Cordoba in Spain was in any way illegal.

Prince William was reportedly joined on the hunting trip last weekend (February 8) by his brother Prince Harry.

The 37,000-hectare Finca La Garganta estate, is owned by William’s godfather, the Duke of Westminster, whose family seat is Eaton Hall , near Chester and is teeming with wildlife including wild boar, stag and partridge.

And according to the Daily Mail, the brothers try to go shooting there together at least once a year and the Duke “instructs his staff to lay on every conceivable luxury”.

A royal spokesman said: “The Duke of Cambridge has for many years been a passionate advocate for endangered wildlife and has campaigned tirelessly to help stop the illegal poaching of rhino horn and elephant tusk. His track record in this area speaks for itself.”

The joint plea by Prince Charles and the Duke marked the start of a week of wildlife conservation activities by members of the Royal Family, which will end with them attending a conference in London on the illegal wildlife trade.

In the broadcast, they speak in various languages, including Mandarin, Arabic and Swahili.