Queen Elizabeth II has voiced her displeasure with “irritating” leaders who have refused to confirm their attendance at an upcoming climate summit.
Her Majesty was captured on video expressing a rare political opinion to her daughter-in-law Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Welsh politician Elin Jones on Thursday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is among those who have not yet committed to attending the COP26 summit in Glasgow on October 31.
“Extraordinary isn’t it. I’ve been hearing all about COP – still don’t know who is coming. No idea,” Queen Elizabeth said.
“We only know about people who are not coming – It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.”
“Exactly. It’s a time for doing,” Ms Jones said.
“And watching your grandson [Prince William] on the television this morning saying there’s no point going to space, we need to save the Earth.”
“Yes, I read about it,” Her Majesty replied.
During a BBC interview aired on Thursday, The Duke of Cambridge said the world’s greatest brains should be focused on solving the environmental problems facing the Earth.
William appeared to criticise Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, Elon Musk and Briton Richard Branson, whose rival ventures are all vying to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.
“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,” the Duke of Cambridge said of the space race.
His comments come after Mr Musk has spoken about missions to Mars, and Mr Bezos described his inaugural space flight in July as part of building a road to space “so that our kids and their kids can build a future”.
“We need to do that to solve the problems here on Earth,” said Mr Bezos, who on Wednesday celebrated sending Star Trek actor William Shatner into space in his New Shepard spacecraft.
Speaking out on green issues has become a major feature of the British royal family, and William, 39, is following in the footsteps of his late grandfather Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, and his father, Prince Charles.
Charles, the 72-year-old heir to the throne, has for decades called for action to stop climate change and environmental damage, long before the issue became mainstream, often facing ridicule along the way.
“It’s been a hard road for him. He’s had a really rough ride on that, and I think he’s been proven to being well ahead of the curve,” William said.
“But it shouldn’t be that there’s a third generation now coming along having to ramp it up even more. For me, it would be an absolute disaster if George [his eldest child] is sat here … in like 30 years’ time whatever, still saying the same thing, because by then we will be too late.”
In an echo of his father’s message earlier this week, William also said the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26 summit in Scotland had to deliver.
“We can’t have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action,” William said.
The prince’s personal response to the issue has been to create the Earthshot Prize, which aims to find solutions through new technologies or policies to the planet’s biggest environmental problems.
The first five winners, who will each collect £1 million ($A1.85 million), will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday.
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