Leading article: Show boating

Poor Prince Charles; he just cannot get it right, even when it comes to an issue he cares about as passionately as the environment.

The heir to the throne has been boasting of how environmentally friendly his latest official tour of the Caribbean will be, with his office claiming that the trip's carbon footprint will be 40 per cent lower than the Prince's last tour of the islands eight years ago. We were informed that the carbon dioxide expended would be "offset" through the sponsorship of various environmental schemes. Clarence House let it be known that instead of hopping from island to island in a private jet, a yacht would be hired for the 11-day tour. We were even told that Camilla travelled to Gatwick airport by train to meet her connection to Antigua. But then, on closer inspection, it has turned out that the capacious yacht on which the Prince and his retinue will travel around the islands of the Caribbean is a carbon-emission generating leviathan. The Prince might have caused less environmental damage if he had gone by plane.

It would tempting to joke that the Prince needs the Leander's spacious quarters to billet his assorted toothpaste squeezers and bottle holders, not to mention the yacht's ample storage space to hold the royal gifts that will, doubtless, subsequently be flogged off.

But that would be unfair because, when it comes to climate change, the Prince's heart is so manifestly in the right place. It is just a pity the same cannot be said of his, ahem, "eco-credentials".

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