Queen Elizabeth experienced a hot mic of sorts at the opening of Welsh parliament in Cardiff on Thursday.
The queen was seen and heard conversing with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Welsh politician Elin Jones about the upcoming United Nations climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, where world leaders will gather to talk about climate change.
“I’ve been hearing all about COP ... still don’t know who is coming ... no idea,” the monarch appeared to say on video captured by Daily Mirror reporter Russell Meyers. “We only know about people who are not coming. ... It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.”
“Exactly,” Jones responded. “It’s a time for doing. And watching your grandson on the television this morning saying there’s no point going to space, we need to save the Earth ...”
“Yes, I read about it,” the queen replies.
Jones was referring to a comment Prince William made during an interview with the BBC on Thursday.
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live,” he said.
Buckingham Palace had no comment or clarification on the queen’s remarks when reached by HuffPost on Friday.
The queen rarely ― if ever ― publicly shares an opinion, and her role is a politically neutral one.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News that “comments made in private should stay private,” in reference to the monarch’s conversation getting media attention.
“We all share the desire to see progress made and we know there will be hundreds of leaders coming to Glasgow for COP,” he said.
The queen’s reported comments echo Prince Charles’ conversation with BBC earlier this week, during which he told the outlet that he was worried that leaders would “just talk,” rather than actually do something at the upcoming summit.
“The problem is to get action on the ground,” the royal said, while empathizing with activists who are upset.
“All these young people feel nothing is ever happening, so of course they’re going to get frustrated,” Charles, a longtime environmental advocate, added. “I totally understand because nobody would listen, and they see their future being totally destroyed.”
Along with the queen and Charles, both Prince William and Prince Harry voiced concerns about environmental issues this week.
The Duke of Cambridge’s interview with BBC “Newscast” continues to make front pages around the globe, and on Sunday, he will announce the inaugural winner of his Earthshot Prize, which is “designed to incentivize change and help to repair our planet over the next 10 years.”
On Thursday, Harry launched a campaign ― alongside the nonprofit group Re:Wild ― to stop the Canadian oil company ReconAfrica from drilling in Africa’s Okavango River Basin.
The Duke of Sussex and Reinhold Mangundu, a Namibian environmental activist, co-authored an opinion piece for The Washington Post about the company’s plans for the basin and all the ways in which drilling would affect the people and animals that live there.
Despite the royals’ continued activism in the environmental space, members of the family have been and still are routinely criticized for taking private planes and helicopters for travel, maintaining vast estates, and, as a recent report from The Guardian shows, secretly lobbying to remain exempt from climate laws.
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