The Duke of Cambridge says Prince George becomes ‘confused and annoyed’ when rubbish reappears after he’s picked up litter.
The eight-year-old royal has been collecting rubbish with his £20,000-a-year school, Thomas’s Battersea, in south west London, but expressed frustration to his dad that litter continues to appear in the same place daily.
Prince William made the comments as 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 were to be sat down in 30 years’ time having the same conversation, because ‘by then we will be too late’.
The Duke of Cambridge spoke to BBC Newscast’s Adam Fleming in a sit-down interview about the current issues facing the climate at Kensington Palace
William said Prince George, pictured on his eighth birthday in July, becomes ‘confused and annoyed’ when rubbish reappears after he’s picked up litter
‘So George at school recently has been doing litter picking’, said William.
‘I didn’t realise but talking to him the other day he was already showing that he was getting a bit confused and a bit sort of annoyed by the fact they went out litter picking one day and then the very next day they did the same route, same time and pretty much all the same litter they picked up back again’.
‘And I think that for him he was trying to understand how and where it all came from. He couldn’t understand, he’s like, “Well, we cleaned this. Why has it not gone 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 ‘a really rough ride’ but was ‘well ahead of 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, has been picking up rubbish with his £20,000-a-year school but expressed his frustration to his dad that litter continues to appear daily
He said: ‘It’s been a hard road for [my father]. My grandfather started off helping out WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) a long time ago with its nature work and biodiversity.
‘I think that my father’s sort of progressed that on and talked about climate change a lot more, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic.
‘So yes, he’s had a really rough ride on that, and I think you know he’s been proven to being well ahead of the curve. Well beyond his time in warning about some of these dangers.
‘But it shouldn’t be that there’s a third generation now coming along having to ramp it up even more.
‘And you know, for me, it would be an absolute disaster if George is sat here talking to you or your successor, Adam, you know in like 30 years’ time, whatever, still saying the same thing, because by then we will be too late.’
He added that his viewpoint had changed since he had his own children, saying: ‘I want the things that I’ve enjoyed – the outdoor life, nature, the environment – I want that to be there for my children, and not just my children but everyone else’s children.
Prince William (pictured right) said his father Prince Charles had a ‘a really rough ride’ but was ‘well ahead of the curve’ on the environment
The prince praised his father The Prince of Wales (pictured), 72, as he warned that inaction on climate change will ‘rob from our children’s future’
‘If we’re not careful we’re robbing from our children’s future through what we do now. And I think that’s not fair.’
The duke also expressed his concerns about a rise in climate anxiety in young people, adding: ‘We are seeing a rise in climate anxiety.
‘You know, people, young people now are growing up where their futures are basically threatened the whole time. It’s very unnerving and it’s very, you know, anxiety making,’ he said.
In the same interview, the duke criticised the race to leave Earth and said we instead need the world’s greatest brains and minds ‘fixed on trying to repair this planet’
The intervention came just hours after Star Trek’s William Shatner became the oldest person in space at the age of 90, following a journey aboard Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
It also comes just days after SpaceX founder Elon Musk, whose ambitious plans involve colonising Mars, revealed he would now like to build Tesla cars on the Red Planet.
‘We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live’, said William.
The Duke of Cambridge announced the 15 finalists of his £50million Earthshot Prize last month
The royal’s comments came just hours after Star Trek’s William Shatner became the oldest person in space at the age of 90, following a journey aboard Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos’s rocket
The royal also warned the Cop26 summit, where world leaders will gather in Glasgow at the end of the month to discuss climate change, against ‘clever speak, clever words but not enough action’.
He said: ‘I think for COP to communicate very clearly and very honestly what the problems are and what the solutions are going to be, is critical.
‘We can’t have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action.’
Last month Prince William announced the 15 finalists of his £50million Earthshot Prize, which aims to encourage the world’s greatest problem-solvers to find answers to the planet’s biggest environment problems.
Five winners will be chosen this month from the 15 finalists, and each will receive a grant worth £1million pounds.
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 yet launched by Prince William, who has long supported conservation charities in Africa and led work to tackle illegal wildlife trafficking.
BBC Newscast: the Prince William interview airs on Thursday 14th October 2021.
Watch BBC One (at 23:35), BBC News Channel and BBC iPlayer. Listen on BBC Sounds and BBC 5 Live.
The 15 Earthshot Prize finalists
Protect and restore nature finalists
- Pole Pole Foundation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – a community-led conservation initiative protecting gorillas and local livelihoods
- The Republic of Costa Rica for a scheme paying local people to help revive the rainforest
- Restor, from Switzerland, which operates an online conversation search engineering platform
Clean our air finalists
- Blue Map App, from China – an environmental database
- Takachar, from India, which turns agricultural waste into sellable bio-products
- Vinisha Umashankar, who proposes using solar energy to replace charcoal to power millions of roadside ironing carts in India
Revive our oceans finalists
- Coral Vita, from The Bahamas, which grows coral on land to replant in oceans
- Living seawalls, from Australia, for its habitat panels, fitted to sea defences, mimic natural formations like rock pools
- Pristine seas, a global ocean conservation programme from the US
Build a waste free world finalists
- The city of Milan food waste hubs
- Sanergy, in Kenya, which is an enterprise that turns organic waste into fertiliser and insect protein for farmers
- Wota Box, of Japan, turns more than 98 per cent of water waste into clean fresh water
Fix our climate finalists
- AEM Electrolyser, of Thailand, Germany and Italy, which is a green hydrogen technology company
- Reeddi capsules, from Nigeria, are solar-powered energy capsules which can be rented and returned for $0.50 a day, cutting energy costs by 30 per cent and boosting local businesses
- Solbazaar, from Bangladesh, the world’s first peer-to-peer energy exchange network