Prince William praises Charles and Philip on climate change as he pushes for more action

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4 mins read

Prince William has praised his grandfather and father for speaking about climate change and the environment, as he called for more to be done before it is too late.

In a documentary to be shown on ITV, William said he will put his “head above the parapet” and call on people to pick up the pace in the battle against climate change.

Prince Charles, William’s father, and Prince Philip, his grandfather, have campaigned on similar issues for decades. Charles made his first speech about the impact of plastics on the environment more than 50 years ago.

In the documentary William, 38, says: “My grandfather, my father have been in environmental work for many years.

“My grandfather’s well ahead of his time. My father, ahead of his time. And I really want to make sure that, in 20 years, George doesn’t turn round and say, ‘are you ahead of your time?’ Because if he does, we’re too late.”

The father-of-three was filmed over the course of two years on various royal tours, including a trip to Pakistan where he and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, saw how climate change is impacting the glaciers there.

Copyright: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS, MEMORABILIA or COLOURABLY SIMILAR. NOT FOR USE AFTER 31 DECEMBER, 2020, WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM KENSINGTON PALACE. This photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. There shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photographs (including by way of example only) any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-news editorial use. The photographs must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the photograph when published. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. MANDATORY CREDIT: Kensington Palace. The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Louis watch as Prince George holds the tooth of a giant shark given to him by Sir David Attenborough in the gardens of Kensington Palace in London after The Duke and Sir David attended an outdoor screening of Sir David's upcoming feature film.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Louis watch as Prince George holds the tooth of a giant shark given to him by Sir David Attenborough. (Kensington Palace)

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“It’s a huge environmental and humanitarian disaster,” William says in the documentary.

“And yet, we still don’t seem to be picking up the pace and understanding it quick enough. And I think the young are really getting it.

“And the younger generation are really wanting more and more people to do stuff and want more action.

“And we’ve got to speed the pace up. We’ve got to get on top of it and we need to be more vocal and more educational about what’s going on.”

Copyright: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS, MEMORABILIA or COLOURABLY SIMILAR. NOT FOR USE AFTER 31 DECEMBER, 2020, WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM KENSINGTON PALACE. This photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. There shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photographs (including by way of example only) any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-news editorial use. The photographs must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the photograph when published. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. MANDATORY CREDIT: Kensington Palace. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George (seated), Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with Sir David Attenborough in the gardens of Kensington Palace in London after The Duke and Sir David attended an outdoor screening of Sir David's upcoming feature film.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George (seated), Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with Sir David Attenborough. (Kensington Palace)

In the documentary, viewers will also see the duke feeding a carrot to a rhino called Deborah, during his tour of Tanzania in 2018.

At the time he said: “People might see them and think it’s a big tank, a big hulk of an animal, with a big horn, but they are incredibly vulnerable.

“They have brilliant eyesight and people will take advantage of that and they want this horn, which is effectively nail, and that is all it is, its fingernail. This is where the horn belongs, on a live rhino and that’s where it should stay.”

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Chiatibo glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range in the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan, October 16, 2019. Neil Hall/Pool via REUTERS
William and Kate at the Chiatibo glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range in Pakistan. (Reuters)

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William, who is dad to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, is a patron of the charity Tusk, which works to ensure peaceful co-existence between animals and people in Africa.

He has also been working with his umbrella organisation United for Wildlife, to prevent wildlife trafficking.

Over the weekend, Kensington Palace released images of William, Kate and their children meeting Sir David Attenborough, including one of George, seven, with a special gift he was given by the TV veteran.

However the gift, a shark’s tooth found by Sir David in Malta in the 1960s, has become the topic of a heritage row, as the island’s culture minister, Jose Herrera, has asked for it back.

TANZANIA - OCTOBER 10: In this undated handout photo issued by Kensington Palace on October 10, 2018 to mark the launch of the Financial Taskforce,  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Naomi Doak from United for Wildlife, and Head of Conservation Programmes at the Royal Foundation, visit Tanzania. The Duke of Cambridge was granted a rare visit to the ivory stockpile, which has been built up over the last 23 years and is believed to be the largest ivory stockpile in the world. (Photo by Kensington Palace via Getty Images) NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS, MEMORABILIA or COLOURABLY SIMILAR.
Prince William and Naomi Doak from United for Wildlife, and Head of Conservation Programmes at the Royal Foundation, see an ivory stockpile, which has been built up over the last 23 years in Tanzania. (Kensington Palace)

Herrera said: “There are some artefacts that are important to Maltese natural heritage and which ended up abroad and deserve to be retrieved.

“We rightly give a lot of attention to historical and artistic artefacts. However, it is not always the case with our natural history. I am determined to direct a change in this attitude.”

Prince William: A Planet For Us All is on ITV on 5 October at 9pm.