Queen praises work of Charles and William in COP26 speech
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Queen Elizabeth II has been praised for her “very powerful” speech which was played at an evening reception last night to mark the opening of the COP26 summit. A Jeremy Vine panellist expressed her hope that the 95-year-old monarch’s call for leaders to show “true statesmanship” would “cut through” the noise of other stories emerging from the summit. The Queen had been scheduled to appear in Glasgow for the event but was forced to cancel after accepting advice from her medical team to remain at Windsor.
Speaking of the Queen’s impact, psychologist Lucy Beresford said: “It feels very noisy at the moment, there are so many stories coming out.
“Hopefully, she will cut through – it was a very powerful speech.
“Hers and Sir David Attenborough’s speech really went to the heart of the matter of ‘you guys in this room, and it is mainly men, the world is watching you and you need to step up to the plate’.”
Jeremy Vine continued: “It’s amazing how the Queen, even remotely, can make such a big splash. I mean she’s just probably the most famous person in the world.”
Speaking via a recorded video message, the Queen urged world leaders to “rise above the politics of the moment”, in her most significant intervention on the climate since the beginning of her reign.
The video was recorded on Friday afternoon at Windsor Castle, with the Queen wearing a bright green dress accessorised with an elegant butterfly brooch, which was given to her as an engagement present in 1947.
Positioned behind her is a photograph of her late husband Prince Philip surrounded by butterflies, taken in Mexico in 1988.
Her Majesty spoke affectionately of the Duke of Edinburgh, telling the audience: “I remember well that in 1969, he told an academic gathering: ‘If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time.
Queen warns leaders to 'rise above the politics' at COP26
“If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance.
“It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I could not be more proud of them.”
Both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge were in attendance at the reception, alongside their wives the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Queen was forced to “regretfully” cancel her appearance at the summit after accepting her doctor’s advise to rest for two weeks.
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She had initially fallen ill on October 20 and was forced to cancel a two-day tour of Northern Ireland. It subsequently emerged that she had stayed overnight in King Edward VII Hospital, and had undergone “preliminary investigations” before being released home to Windsor.
In recent weeks she has made use of a walking stick during formal engagements and has given up alcohol.
Her two heirs are instead welcoming world leaders to the COP26 summit, which will focus on solutions to achieving carbon net-zero and to reduce the rising global temperature to 1.5C.
She concluded her speech by noting: “None of us underestimates the challenges ahead: but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope.
“Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities.”
The Queen is currently only undertaking “light desk-based duties” but has made it clear that she intends to return to public duties for the Remembrance Sunday service on November 14.
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