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Monday, October 18, 2021

One is not amused: Queen irritated by those who ‘talk but don’t do’ ahead of Cop26

The sovereign, who now rarely travels for official engagements, will attend a diplomatic reception at Cop26, joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Charles and Prince William are expected to address the conference as well as hold talks with key world leaders, with experts suggesting that the attendance of senior royals will boost the image of Britain taking climate talks seriously.

World leaders not currently expected in Scotland include Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, whom Prince Charles has urged to attend.

Vladimir Putin has said he might not attend due to fears about coronavirus, although he insisted this week that he would “still participate in the work of the Cop26”.

Xi Jinping, China’s president, has also received an invitation but has not confirmed his attendance.

In 2016, Chinese authorities censored footage of the Queen calling the country’s government “very rude” after she was caught on camera commiserating a police chief’s “bad luck” in having to deal with the Chinese during a state visit.

Meanwhile, Prince William revealed that Prince George, who is in Year 4 at Thomas’s Battersea prep school, was “acutely aware” of the importance of the environment and had a “definite sense of realisation and understanding” about things like turning off light switches and taps.

He warned that it would be an “absolute disaster” if the young Prince was forced to follow in his footsteps and campaign about environmental issues in 30 years’ time, when it would be too late.

“So George at school recently has been doing litter picking, and I didn’t realise but talking to him the other day he was already showing that he was getting a bit confused and a bit sort of annoyed by the fact they went out litter picking one day and then the very next day they did the same route, same time and pretty much all the same litter they picked up back again,” he said.

“And I think that, for him, he was trying to understand how and where it all came from. He couldn’t understand, he’s like, ‘well, we cleaned this. Why has it not gone away?’”

The Duke also expressed concern about the rise in climate anxiety in young people, noting that they were growing up aware that their futures were threatened.

He said that five years ago, no one could have imagined that the world could orchestrate such a rapid response to a global pandemic, which he described as an “enormous” achievement.

“I’ve been completely blown away by the collaboration, the coordination, the science, the research and how quickly it’s been done as well, it’s truly phenomenal,” he said.

“So, I think younger generations will see that and use that to say, ‘well, if we can fix this, we can put the money, the furlough scheme and everything else, if we can do that we can also tackle environmental challenges’.”

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