The Duke of Cambridge says Prince George gets ‘confused and annoyed’ when garbage reappears after picking up litter.
The eight-year-old royal collects trash at his £20,000-a-year school, Thomas’s Battersea, in south-west London, but expressed frustration to his father that trash still appears in the same spot every day.
Prince William made the comments when he spoke to BBC Newscast’s Adam Fleming in a sit-down interview about the current issues facing the climate at Kensington Palace.
The 39-year-old duke said it would be a ‘disaster’ if George had the same conversation in 30 years’ time, because ‘by then we’ll be too late’.
The Duke of Cambridge spoke to BBC Newscast’s Adam Fleming in a sit-down interview about the current climate issues at Kensington Palace
William said Prince George, pictured on his eighth birthday in July, gets ‘confused and annoyed’ when trash reappears after picking up litter
“So George at school has been picking litter lately,” William said.
“I didn’t realize it, but when he spoke to him recently he already showed that he was getting a little confused and a little annoyed by the fact that one day they went looking for litter and the next day they were doing the same route , same time and almost all the same litter that they picked up again’.
“And I think for him he was trying to understand how and where it all came from. He couldn’t understand, he said, “Well, we cleaned this up. Why didn’t it go away?”
The father-of-three, who shares George, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, said his father, Prince Charles, had a ‘very tough ride’ but ‘far ahead was ‘the curve’ on the environment.
The eight-year-old royal, pictured outside Thomas’s Battersea with his sister Charlotte and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, picked up trash with his £20,000 a year of school, but expressed frustration with his father that litter still appears daily
He said: ‘It’s been a hard road for’ [my father]. My grandfather started helping WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) with its wildlife work and biodiversity a long time ago.
“I think my dad has gotten a little bit ahead of that and talked a lot more about climate change, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic.
“So yeah, he’s had a really hard time with that, and I think you know he’s got a big lead. Far past its time to warn of some of these dangers.
‘But it should not be the case that there is now a third generation that has to increase it even more.
“And you know, for me it would be an absolute disaster if George sits here talking to you or your successor, Adam, you know, in 30 years, whatever, still saying the same thing, because by then we’ll be to be late.’
He added that his stance had changed since he had children of his own, saying: “I want the things I’ve enjoyed – the outdoors, nature, the environment – I want that to be there for my children, not only for my children, but the children of everyone else.
Prince William (pictured right) said his father, Prince Charles, had ‘a really tough ride’ but was ‘far ahead’ on the environment
The prince praised his father The Prince of Wales (pictured), 72, while warning that inaction on climate change will ‘rob our children of the future’
“If we’re not careful, what we’re doing now is robbing our children’s future. And I don’t think that’s fair.’
The Duke also expressed concern about a rise in climate anxiety among young people, adding: ‘We are seeing an increase in climate fear.
“You know, folks, young people are growing up right now where their future is basically threatened all the time. It’s very nerve-wracking and it’s bad, you know, it makes you anxious,” he said.
In the same interview, the Duke criticized the race to leave Earth, saying we need the world’s biggest brains and minds instead “fixed on trying to fix this planet.”
The intervention came just hours after Star Trek’s William Shatner became the oldest person in space at age 90, following a journey aboard Amazon magnate Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
It also comes just days after SpaceX founder Elon Musk, whose ambitious plans include colonizing Mars, revealed he would now like to build Tesla cars on the Red Planet.
“We need some of the world’s greatest minds and minds determined to fix this planet, not find the next place to live,” William said.
The Duke of Cambridge announced the 15 finalists of his £50 million Earthshot Prize last month
The royal family’s comments came just hours after Star Trek’s William Shatner became the oldest person in space at age 90, following a journey aboard Amazon magnate Jeff Bezos’ rocket.
The royal family also warned the Cop26 summit, where world leaders will gather in Glasgow at the end of this month to discuss climate change, against ‘smart talk, smart words but not enough action’.
He said: ‘I think it is crucial that COP communicates very clearly and very honestly what the problems are and what the solutions will be.
“We can’t talk smarter, smart words but not enough action.”
Last month, Prince William announced the 15 finalists of his £50 million Earthshot Prize, which aims to encourage the world’s greatest problem solvers to find answers to the planet’s biggest environmental problems.
This month, five winners will be chosen from the 15 finalists, and each will receive a scholarship worth £1 million.
In addition, 14 global companies and brands, including Microsoft, Unilever, Ikea and Walmart, have agreed to support and scale the ideas developed by the finalists.
The award is the most ambitious project ever launched by Prince William, who has long supported charities in Africa and led the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
BBC Newscast: The interview with Prince William will be broadcast on Thursday 14 October 2021.
Watch BBC One (at 11:35 pm), BBC News Channel and BBC iPlayer. Listen on BBC Sounds and BBC 5 Live.
The 15 Earthshot Prize Finalists
Protect and restore wildlife finalists
- Pole Pole Foundation in the Democratic Republic of Congo – a community-led conservation initiative that protects gorillas and local livelihoods
- The Republic of Costa Rica for a scheme that will pay the locals to revive the rainforest
- Restor, from Switzerland, which operates an online engineering platform for conversation search
Clean up our air finalists
- Blue Map App, from China – an environmental database
- Takachar, from India, who converts agricultural waste into salable organic products
- Vinisha Umashankar, proposing to use solar energy to replace charcoal to power millions of ironing carts along the road in India
Breathe new life into our oceans finalists
- Coral Vita, from the Bahamas, which grows coral on land to replant in oceans
- Living sea walls, from Australia, for its habitat panels, mounted on sea walls, mimicking natural formations such as rock pools
- Pristine Seas, a Global Ocean Conservation Program from the USA
Finalists building a waste-free world
- Food waste hubs in the city of Milan
- Sanergy, in Kenya, a company that converts organic waste into fertilizer and insect protein for farmers
- Wota Box, from Japan, converts more than 98 percent of water waste into clean fresh water
Confirm our climate finalists
- AEM Electrolyser, from Thailand, Germany and Italy, a green hydrogen technology company
- Reeddi capsules, from Nigeria, are solar energy capsules that can be rented and returned for $0.50 per day, reducing energy costs by 30 percent and encouraging local businesses
- Solbazaar, from Bangladesh, the world’s first peer-to-peer energy exchange network