The Queen rides to the rescue of the planet (Andrew take note)

In an unprecedented move, Her Majesty is giving approval to the fight against global warming. She's even double-glazed Buckingham Palace. But what of the rest of her family? Severin Carrell reports
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If you asked her subjects when the Queen last went green, her more devoted followers would think of the lime jacket and floral skirt she wore at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. Better known for her efforts to preserve decorum than the whale, she has until now left environmental causes to the other members of her family. With five palaces, seven planes and a seven-coach royal train, she has never been an advert for fuel economy.

If you asked her subjects when the Queen last went green, her more devoted followers would think of the lime jacket and floral skirt she wore at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. Better known for her efforts to preserve decorum than the whale, she has until now left environmental causes to the other members of her family. With five palaces, seven planes and a seven-coach royal train, she has never been an advert for fuel economy.

This week's backing for a major climate change conference in Berlin is her first public step in convincing the world that her blue blood is taking on a green tint. But an Independent on Sunday environmental audit shows that, in private, she is already trying to do her bit to save the planet - by double-glazing parts of Buckingham Palace, recycling paper and converting her fleet of limousines to eco-friendly liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel.

She is even planning to build her very own hydroelectric generator on the Thames capable of powering half of Windsor Castle, at a reported cost of £900,000.

While the Duke of Edinburgh, has championed wildlife conservation, and her eldest son Charles is Britain's best-known organic farmer, not every family member appears to be on-message. Prince Andrew, or Air-Miles Andy, as he is now known by some, continues to fly the flag for ostentatious expenditure with reports earlier this year that he had eaten up thousands of pounds of public money taking royal flights to play golf.

It isPrince Philip who can claim to be the true advocate of Royal environmentalism, following a conversion that can be traced back to a few idle days on the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1956.

Finding little to photograph but seabirds, he became a keen birdwatcher and struck up an influential friendship with ecologists including Sir Peter Scott, who persuaded him to become President of the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge. This led him to become founding president of the World Wildlife Fund and then of WWF International until his retirement in 1996.

More controversially, he is outspoken on the issue of population growth, seeing it as a serious environmental problem, and once tackled the Pope on the issue. But he found his green reputation severely dented by ordering the felling of ancient trees in Windsor Great Park, provoking a row with Prince Charles, who reportedly accused him of vandalism.

An environmentalist since his teens, the Prince of Wales played a key role in switching government policy on marine conservation in the late 1980s. His green advisers include former Friends of the Earth head Sir Jonathon Porritt, and Patrick Holden of the Soil Association.

Prince William may have inherited similar passions. Concerned by Third World poverty, he has reportedly said he wants to become an farmer, and is expected to take over his father's organic Highgrove farm - and the Duchy Originals sausage and chocolate biscuit empire - when he becomes king.

Prince William

Green card: Plans to become an organic farmer and will run Highgrove farm when he becomes king; Studied African wildlife and conservation projects in three- month private tour during his gap year; Did social and conservation work in Chilean villages with Operation Raleigh

Red flag: Allegedly shot rare and protected ibis bird during shooting trip in Africa

Duke of York

Green card: Patron of society which runs tours to remote regions; Patron, York Minster Fund

Red flag: Advocates investment in Russian oil refinery which threatens rare whales; Uses RAF helicopters and jets for personal golf trips; Now single, owns 12-bedroom family home in Berkshire

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent

Green card: Patrons of three major animal charities; She uses horses in London

Red flag: He has arranged press trips to meet Russian oil barons; He backs new British Luxury Council, selling Aston Martins, cruises, yachts; president of Institute of Motor Industry

Duke of Edinburgh

Green card: Headed WWF for 35 years; leads 'green' reforms; Set up environmental group with Greek Orthodox Church; Uses LPG-powered taxi and pays congestion charge

Red flag: Chopped down scores of ancient trees at Windsor; Against walkers at Balmoral; Believes in strict population control in poor countries

Prince of Wales

Green card: Backs organic farming; created Duchy Originals; Opposes GM food and crops in speeches and articles; Runs own estates on strict ecological grounds

Red flag: Used the royal train 10 times last year; Brands windfarms 'blots on the landscape'; Collects gas-guzzling Aston Martins and Bentleys

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