Queen beams at mention of Prince William in private chat
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A royal commentator believes both William and Charles are attempting to “seize the limelight” when it comes to responding to the public concern surrounding the environmental crisis. Dr Ed Owens, an honorary research associate at the Centre for the Study of Modern Monarchy at Royal Holloway university, looked at work of the two prominent royals – and their use of mass media to put the spotlight on initiatives.
Speaking about the Prince of Wales’ role as editor-in-chief at Amazon Prime’s new channel dedicated to the climate crisis, RE:TV, Dr Owens said this collaboration will help Charles “burnishing his image as the environmentalist king in waiting”.
Moreover, he said, it will help him connect with new audiences, as younger generations are particularly interested in the climate issue.
But the expert also noted there may be a competition between Charles and firstborn William, as they share their focus on the environment.
He told Express.co.uk: “Interestingly, Charles and William seem to be both competing for this image as the environmentalist king-in-waiting.
“Both are embracing the politics of environmentalism, knowing full well that is a non-controversial politics these days.
“They never associate themselves with controversial topics because if it’s controversial it means they become politicised – and they are not allowed to be politicised.
“So the great thing about the environment is that it is broadly accepted by a large majority now [who think] that climate change is a problem.
“And they are both looking to try and seize the limelight in terms of responding to environmental concerns – William most notably with the Earthshot Prize and Charles with many other different projects.
“So there is a little bit of a competition there between father and sons, the two kings in waiting.”
Over the past few days, both William and Charles have taken part in interviews entirely focused on their environmental work.
On October 11, the Prince of Wales appeared on BBC Breakfast, during which he spoke about the action he has personally taken to reduce his carbon footprint.
He also said he sympathised with young activists such as Greta Thunberg, who in the past has criticised the inaction of world leaders on the climate issue.
He said: “All these young people feel nothing is ever happening so of course they’re going to get frustrated.
“I totally understand because nobody would listen and they see their future being totally destroyed.”
The future king, 72, highlighted the importance of the upcoming UN climate change conference, COP26, which will be attended not just by him but also by the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Describing it as “a last chance saloon”, he said it would be a “disaster” if the world failed to come together at this gathering to make the environmental issue a priority.
He added: “I mean it’ll be catastrophic. It is already beginning to be catastrophic because nothing in nature can survive the stress that is created by these extremes of weather.”
Charles has been issuing warnings on climate change, pollution and over concerning environmental issues for the past five decades.
Most recently, he has launched initiatives such as the charter Terra Carta to push entrepreneurs to put sustainability at the heart of their businesses.
His lifelong efforts have often been publicly recognised by William, 39, who has also recently appeared on a BBC programme.
During an interview with Newscast’s Adam Fleming, aired on October 14, the Duke conceded his father had “a hard road”.
He said: “My grandfather started off helping out WWF a long time ago with its nature work and biodiversity, and I think that my father’s sort of progressed that on and talked about climate change a lot more, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic.
“So yes, he’s had a really rough ride on that, and I think you know he’s been proven to being well ahead of the curve.
“Well beyond his time in warning about some of these dangers.”
Over the past few weeks, the Duke has also led a five-episode series in which were presented the 15 finalists of the Earthshot Prize and their projects.
The first-ever award ceremony of the Earthshot will take place on October 17 – and will be broadcasted by BBC World Service.
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