A lot of people look up to The Royal Family for a number of different things, though who would have ever thought that our Royals would be Britain’s most formidable green pressure group. Well that is exactly what they are as many of the senior Royals are joining forces to make environmental campaigning one of their biggest points of focus.
Two of the biggest advocates of environmental causes are of course Prince Philip and Prince Charles but in recent times they have been joined by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and they even have the quiet approval of Her Majesty The Queen. As recent as the Cambridge’s New York visit shows that The Royal Family are taking the campaign for a better planet very seriously. The Duke of Cambridge made a speech in Washington DC where he condemned the illegal wildlife trade as “one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality”.
Though it may surprise some Cambridge fans, The Royal Family’s environmental campaigning goes back way before Prince William was hailed a hero for attempting to put a stop to the illegal wildlife trade. The family passion for this campaign actually dates back to 1956, when Prince Philip was travelling back from the Summer Olympics on the Royal Yacht Britannia, where he took the opportunity to get out his camera and photograph some birds. An opportunity that would lead to him taking up birdwatching and getting to know the naturalist Sir Peter Scott who as Philip said, “got me involved in the formation of the World Wildlife Fund almost before I could tell the difference between a Bewick and a Whooper”. The ‘Firm’s’ passion for the planet had well and truly begun.
The Prince of Wales’ commitment dates back to 1969 when he began campaigning over the fate of salmon in the Atlantic. To this day, Prince Charles still speaks out on environmental issues from architecture and air pollution to GM Crops, here we have a man who has firmly followed in the footsteps of his father. Talking about following in the footsteps of your father, Prince William and Prince Harry together run a foundation that supports conservation and earlier this year the two Princes, together with their father, hosted a summit in London where leaders agreed to clamp down on the illegal wildlife trade.
When Prince William made his speech at the World Bank at the International Corruption Hunters Alliance conference, he threw up many frightening statistics including the fact that the number of elephants poached now outweighs the number that are born. The Prince also heavily praised his father and grandfather for their work in international conservation, a sure sign that here we have a united Royal Family on a subject that is so serious and damaging.
To avoid controversy, Her Majesty The Queen has never publicly expressed her opinions on environmentalism though it is known that she has privately expressed concerns on global warming. An upcoming documentary will also show that The Queen supports organic cultivation, and runs the Buckingham Palace gardens accordingly.
So as many gather themselves after The Cambridge’s short stay in New York, what needs to be remembered is that the issue of the environment and conservation isn’t a single man mission. This is a mission that The Royal Family have been advocating for a very long time, its a joint effort that one hopes is slowly being won.
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