Prince William should ’embrace’ being ‘controversial’ about space tourism says expert

Prince William should 'embrace' being 'controversial' says expert

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The Duke of Cambridge has been urged to “embrace the controversialism” around his recent comments on space travel by two royal commentators. During an in-depth interview with BBC Newscast to discuss climate change and his inaugural The Earthshot Prize, Prince William suggested that entrepreneurs should focus on saving planet Earth instead of investing in space tourism. 

Speaking on the Royal Rota podcast, royal commentator Lizzie Robinson said: “I mean William has taken this cause and he said he wanted to be able to look his children in the eye and tell them he did everything he could to help on this issue.

“If that involves being a bit controversial, at least he can say ‘I did everything’.”

ITV’s royal editor, Chris Ship, continued: “I was going to say the same thing, why doesn’t Kensington Palace embrace the controversialism of it and say ‘well actually yeah, space is polluting and we shouldn’t be getting as many flights around the world and doing more meetings on Zoom. Should we be blasting people into space?'”

“Actually, I think they should probably own that space than try and vacate it and say ‘no, this is something that he really, really strongly believes in and sometimes that involves saying things that are a little bit controversial’.”

Prince William told BBC journalist Adam Fleming on Thursday that there was “a rise in climate anxiety” amongst the younger generation. 

Speaking of space tourism, the future king said: “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.

“I think that ultimately is what sold it for me – that really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future.”

He also said he had “absolutely no interest” in travelling to space and stated that there was a “fundamental question” over the carbon cost of space flights. 

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In recent years, a space race has developed between a number of multi-billionaires, such as Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson, who are trying to expand their space businesses. 

Prince William’s comments come a day after William Shatner, who is known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek series, became the oldest person to visit space, after he blasted off aboard a capsule developed by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The 90-year-old hit back at Prince William’s criticism, saying the future king was “missing the point”. 

During the interview, the Duke of Cambridge said that he had been inspired by his father and grandfather to enter the debate around climate change.

Prince Charles is a renowned enviromental campaigner, whilst the late Prince Philip has been described as a “pioneer” when it came to conservation and wildlife protection. 


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Speaking of his family influences, Prince William said that the two “talked about climate change a lot more, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic”.

The father-of-three also added that it would be “catastrophic” if his eldest son, Prince George, was still having the same conversations about the planet in 30 years time. 

As part of his contribution to the climate crisis, Prince William has launched the Earthshot Prize, which will award its first five winners on Sunday evening.

The Prize will award £1million each to five projects or organisations over the next decade, in order for them to improve and advance with their innovative solutions to tackling climate change. 

Both Prince William and his wife Kate will attend the awards ceremony on Sunday at Alexandra Palace, where they will be joined by celebrities such as Coldplay and Ed Sheeran to celebrate the five winners. 

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