In Focus

Could Prince William’s battle to save the planet end the war of the Windsors?

The heir to the throne is the Jolly Green Prince, doing his bit this week with the Earthshot Prize. His father is the Climate King, and Harry flaunts his eco-concerns at every given opportunity. So, wonders Harry Mount, could this be the burning issue that douses the fire of the royal feud?

Wednesday 08 November 2023 17:21 GMT
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<p>The environmental movement has gripped the royal family for more than 60 years</p>

The environmental movement has gripped the royal family for more than 60 years

As he stepped onto the stage on Tuesday night to present the Earthshot Prize, the Prince of Wales wore his eco-credentials on his sleeve. Quite literally. Joined by Hannah Waddingham and Cate Blanchett for the glittering ceremony in Singapore, Prince William handed out five £1m prizes to green innovators and entrepreneurs while wearing the same green velvet Alexander McQueen jacket he wore to the first Earthshot Prize in 2021 – a jacket he has owned for 10 years.

It was the kind of attention to detail that his wife, the Princess of Wales, may well have advised him on – having earned eco-fashion points earlier this year for re-wearing a one-shoulder gown, again by Alexander McQueen, for the Baftas, having first worn it to the event in 2019.

The environmental movement has gripped the royal family for more than 60 years – ever since committed conservationist Prince Philip nailed his green colours to the mast as a young man. In a ceremony that was beamed across the world, his grandson picked up the baton and made an impassioned speech, noting: “The last year has been one of great change and even greater challenge. A year in which the effects of the climate crisis have become too visible to be ignored.” But knowing that the royals are there to unite, rather than divide, he ended on an upbeat note: “We hold on to the most powerful motivators of all – optimism, and hope.”

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