Prince Charles won’t ‘inherit’ Queen’s respect says expert
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Both Prince Charles, 73, and Prince William, 39, have spoken out widely about the climate crisis. Their work on environmental issues was recently recognised by the Queen, who in her speech at Glasgow’s COP26 climate conference expressed her pride for both of the royals following in the footsteps of Prince Philip.
During her virtual appearance, Her Majesty, 95, spoke about how the impact of the environment on human progress was a cause “close to the heart of my dear late husband”.
She added: “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.”
With royal watchers keeping a close eye on the monarchy due to the recent health issues surrounding her Majesty, Dr Ed Owens, a royal historian, spoke of the contrast between Charles and the Queen, as he prepares to take the throne.
He noted that the Prince of Wales has exercised a stronger political voice than his mother, something he may need to extend caution towards when ascending the throne.
He told Express.co.uk: “Queen Elizabeth II has refrained publicly from speaking out on contentious political issues or has done so extremely subtly.
“The case in point of being the referendum on Scottish Independence where she spoke out subtly, about the importance of the Scottish people thinking ‘carefully’ about the decision that was in front of them.”
He added: “Charles on the other hand has been much more outspoken on themes such as the environment, the natural world, architecture, homoeopathic medicine.
“Some of these have landed him in hot water, others though, suggest that he is the right monarch for the here and now.”
“In that, many of his anxieties, concerns and predictions about the climate catastrophe have been realised.”
Dr Owens also commented on Charles’ expansive work on climate action, and matters concerning the environment.
He noted that the future king will need to be “careful” in future when it comes to advocating solutions to the environmental crisis.
He said: “Charles must be very careful.
“There is a broad consensus currently on the need for climate action, and I think the fact that both major UK political parties have swung behind this idea that there is a need for action, means he is still operating a nonpartisan capacity.
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“Yet, at the same time, the royal family has to be careful with the solutions they advocate in terms of the climate crisis.
“The advocacy that the monarchy is offering cannot get in the way of what needs to be a bigger governmental response on the part of whoever is in power in Britain.”
Dr Owens said that the solutions offered by the Royal Family are usually “piecemeal” offerings.
He said: “These take the form, usually, of market-led solutions either through philanthropic organisations or by promoting things like the Earthshot Prize.”
The Earthshot Prize, founded by Prince William, sees five winners each year award a grant of £1million for their contributions to environmentalism.
Ed, who works as an honorary research associate at the Centre for the Study of Modern Monarchy at Royal Holloway University, added that the royal’s environmental advocacy runs alongside a bigger governmental response.
He said: “It is going to take a huge effort on the part of governments and inter-governmental organisations to resolve the environmental catastrophe that looms, and COP26 is a good example of where governments and representatives of governments came together to try and thrash out a deal that would potentially point to a better future.”
In reference to the royals speaking publicly about the climate crisis, Dr Owens added: “Their advocacy should help amplify the urgency of the need to deal with the crisis, and it’s governments and international governments that will be ultimately responsible for that.”
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