Images of the late Prince Philip were beamed onto the front of Buckingham Palace as the Queen spoke of her “great pride” for her husband and the legacy he has left behind. She said the Duke of Edinburgh had played a “leading role” on environmental issues and has emboldened Prince Charles and now Prince William to continue fighting to “protect our fragile plant”.
She said: “The impact of the environment on our human progress was a subject close to the heart of my dear late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
“It is a source of great pride for 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.”
She spoke as Hans Zimmer led an orchestra through ambient music to accompany the speech and her tribute.
David Attenborough had spoken just moments before, also in a pre-recorded message, about the importance of creating a sustainable environment.
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The Duke of Cambridge later hailed the Platinum Jubilee concert as full of “optimism and joy” as he praised the Queen for her “hope” in the future of the planet.
William paid tribute to the positive outlook of his grandmother during a segment of the Platinum Party at the Palace dedicated to the environment and featuring Sir David Attenborough.
He echoed the Queen’s words from her speech to the Cop26 UN Climate Change summit, when she said working together in a “common cause” always gave rise to hope.
The duke highlighted the efforts of “visionary environmentalists” and went on to name broadcaster and naturalist Sir David and spoke about the pride he felt for “my grandfather and my father”, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales, who have championed the natural world.
Speaking on stage to thousands gathered in The Mall, William said: “It’s my firm hope that my grandmother’s words are as true in 70 years’ time as they are tonight that as nations we come together in common cause, because then there is always room for hope.
“Tonight has been full of such optimism and joy – and there is hope. Together, if we harness the very best of humankind, and restore our planet, we will protect it for our children, for our grandchildren and for future generations to come.”
Before the duke spoke, a pre-recorded message from Sir David was played featuring spectacular imagery of the planet with the Hans Zimmer orchestra playing a version of the Planet Earth II Suite as dancers from the Royal Ballet performed.
The crowds heard archive recordings of the Queen speaking about the future of the planet in 1989 during her Christmas Message: “The future of all life on earth depends on how we behave towards one another and how we treat the plants and animals that share our world with us.”
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Prince Charles later paid a tribute to the Queen before encouraging the crowd to cheer for his mother loud enough for her to hear from 20 miles away in Windsor Castle.
He said: “You have met us and talked with us. You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us, for these 70 years.
“You pledged to serve your whole life – you continue to deliver. That is why we are here. That is what we celebrate tonight.
“These pictures on your house are the story of your life – and ours. So, Your Majesty, that is why we all say ‘thank you’.”
“Now, ladies and gentlemen, I know the Queen is watching these celebrations which much emotion, having, I hope, finished her marmalade sandwich, including immense regret that she cannot be here in person with us this evening.
“But Windsor Castle is barely 20 miles away so if we cheer loudly enough, she might, might just hear us. So let’s all join together.”
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