Queen’s COP message shows royals ‘subscribed’ to climate for years

Queen: COP26 statement ‘carefully balance’ says Sacerdoti

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The Queen, 95, issued a rallying cry to world leaders attending Cop26 urging them to work together in “common cause” to tackle climate change and “solve the most insurmountable problems”. In a video message played during a welcoming reception for presidents and prime ministers, she hoped the summit’s legacy would be that they recognised “the time for words has now moved to the time for action”. She also paid a heartfelt tribute to “my dear late husband” the Duke of Edinburgh for his environmental awareness in raising the issue more than 50 years ago. Royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti said the personalisation of her message shows the Royal Family has “always been on the right side of history”.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Sacerdoti said: “The Queen’s recorded message at the COP26 conference was carefully balanced and I don’t think it was particularly controversial.

“I also think we’ve got to a moment these issues are no longer seen by the majority of people as controversial.

“The Royal Family to get involved in messages about the environment doesn’t seem too dangerous.

“Prince Charles was once making statements that people may have thought was overstepping the mark, I think society has got to a point where it no longer feels that way on this topic.

“There seems to be a growing consensus on the environment.”

He added: “She also personalised by mentioning her late husband who started to champion that cause and Prince Charles himself has made frequent references recently to how he was an earlier doctor of the environmental cause.

“I think there’s a sense that the Royal Family are trying to show they have been subscribers to this line of thinking for many years.

“It’s a good way of claiming they’ve always been on the right side of history.”

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The monarch had said it was a “source of great pride” the important role he played in encouraging people to look after the natural world, and she “could not be more proud” of the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge who have continued his work.

Acknowledging her own mortality, the Queen, whose health has caused concern after she decided not to attend the Glasgow conference when advised by doctors to rest, said not all would benefit from the leaders’ actions as “none of us will live forever”.

But any determination to confront the planet’s environmental problems would benefit “our children’s children”.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge listened to her message which was recorded on Friday at Windsor Castle.


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The Queen said: “In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend.

“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 head of state added: “I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship.

“It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations.

“That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.”

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