With Prince William on the Earthshot stage in Singapore and Charles persevering with to beat the drum for our pure heritage at each alternative, it’s simple to overlook that it was one other member of the household who led the best way on the atmosphere.
The late Duke of Edinburgh, who handed away in April 2021 on the age of 99, was a long-time conservationist who raised considerations about collapsing biodiversity lengthy earlier than it turned modern to take action.
As he as soon as stated: ‘if we as people have gotten this energy of life and dying, not simply life and dying however extinction and survival, we should train it with some kind of ethical sense.
‘Why make one thing extinct if we do not have to?’
Prince Philip led the best way in talking out in regards to the atmosphere. His son and grandson have adopted go well with
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, pictured strolling at Balmoral , on their Silver Wedding ceremony anniversary, September 1972
Philip helped to discovered WWF in 1961, serving as its first president between 1961 and 1982, and as president of WWF Worldwide from 1981 to 1996
Philip’s curiosity in conservation is believed to have began within the Royal Navy in the course of the Forties and 50s.
In an interview with Sky Information, Dr Claude Martin, a former director of the World Wildlife Fund, as soon as steered that the Duke of Edinburgh’s ardour for wildlife may need began with an curiosity in birdlife developed throughout his time at sea.
‘Since he was within the Navy, he began getting excited by birds…’ he stated.
‘That was not the one a set off for him however that made him on the planet.’
Philip’s curiosity in images may need contributed, additionally. After which got here a friendship with Sir Peter Scott, a conservationist with whom the Duke helped to determine the World Wildlife Fund in 1961.
Philip served as its first president between 1961 and 1982, and as president of WWF Worldwide from 1981 to 1996.
He was the charity’s patron and likewise later turned president emeritus.
In 1970, WWF established its highest conservation award – the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award – to acknowledge and encourage vital achievement within the international environmental subject.
Amongst his journeys overseas, Philip was pictured with seals in Antarctica, pandas in China and feeding elephants in Africa.
Throughout greater than 5 many years, Philip’s efforts on behalf of WWF have been inestimable – he visited initiatives in additional than 50 international locations, promoted conservation points on the highest authorities ranges, and helped with fundraising and consciousness promotion.
The Duke of Edinburgh labored to lift consciousness for points together with poaching, deforestation and air pollution at a time when such subjects have been removed from mainstream.
He additionally wrote a number of books in regards to the threats confronted by lots of the planet’s creatures, notably Wildlife Disaster in 1970.
Philip was pictured with seals in Antarctica, pandas in China and feeding elephants in Africa and on the Indian sub-continent. Right here he’s pictured in Nepal
The Duke of Edinburgh labored to lift consciousness for points together with poaching, deforestation and air pollution. Pictured: Visiting the flood areas in July 1968
In addition to being president of the WWF, he additionally held the place of president of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
In 1961, the society named certainly one of its awards the Prince Philip Award, which is introduced to teenage conservationists.
Nearer to dwelling, he was additionally closely concerned within the administration of royal estates together with Balmoral, Sandringham and Windsor Nice Park.
Nonetheless, the identical yr he turned president of the WWF’s British Nationwide Enchantment, he and the Queen took half in a tiger hunt throughout a royal tour of Nepal.
The royal couple even posed with the physique of an eight-foot tiger in Ranthambore, India, with the Maharajah of Jaipur, reportedly killed by Philip together with a crocodile and 6 mountain sheep.
When questioned, Philip insisted the tiger was lame and had merely been put out of its distress and that there was no hurt in retaining its pelt as soon as it was useless.
It’s laborious to think about Prince William taking the identical view immediately.
‘I believe that there is a distinction between caring for the conservation of nature and being a bunny-hugger,’ he informed the BBC. ‘Even naturalists drive automobiles.’
Sadly for Charles, Prince Philip’s views on international warming additionally sometimes differed from these of his eldest son as he struggled to just accept that renewable vitality provided an entire reply to international warming.
For Philip, certainly, overpopulation – and humanity’s devouring of assets – was a difficulty that outranked local weather change.
The creator of Philip’s 2020 biography, Ingrid Seward stated: ‘Philip thought the most important downside going through mankind was the inhabitants increasing far too shortly for the planet to maintain. In fact, it’s a delicate challenge these days and one not one of the politicians appear to wish to tackle.
Queen Elizabeth informed leaders on the COP26 summit in 2021 how the influence of the atmosphere on human progress was a trigger ‘near the guts of my pricey late husband’
She additionally praised Prince Philip for lighting the flame of environmentalism in King Charles and his son, Prince William
‘Philip reckoned engineers and scientists would invent methods to make meals – which is certainly occurring to some extent – however with overpopulation we’d run out of water.
‘So he was pragmatic and would have supported Cop26, though he would say loads of waffle was being talked, and never sufficient motion.’
As with so many different points of his life, the Duke of Edinburgh made up his personal thoughts primarily based on the proof he noticed earlier than him and didn’t care whether or not this bothered others or not.
However regardless of his typically contentious views, Philip labored tirelessly for the planet.
One in every of Philip’s most memorable campaigns was his cost to save lots of monarch butterflies, which had been below risk because of quite a few components together with local weather change and deforestation.
In 1988, he visited Mexico to help a conservation group making an attempt to save lots of the species and whereas he was there, Philip snapped in a surprising picture standing among the many animals as they launched into their migration.
It’s the identical image that the Queen displayed proudly behind her throughout her video speech on the COP26 summit in 2021.
Right here, Queen Elizabeth informed leaders how the ‘influence of the atmosphere on human progress was a trigger ‘near the guts of my pricey late husband’.
As way back as 1969, she stated, the previous Duke of Edinburgh warned that air pollution would make each different downside ‘pale into insignificance’ if it was not handled.
She additionally praised Prince Philip for lighting the flame of environmentalism in King Charles and his son, Prince William.
The Queen stated: ‘It’s a supply of nice satisfaction to me that the main function my husband performed in encouraging folks to guard our fragile planet lives on by means of the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I couldn’t be extra pleased with them.’
Within the 2020 documentary ‘A Planet for Us All’, William described Prince Philip as being ‘properly forward of his time’. He added: ‘My grandfather and my father have been in conservation, the environmental world for years.’
The Queen stated: ‘It’s a supply of nice satisfaction to me that the main function my husband performed in encouraging folks to guard our fragile planet lives on’
The royal additionally praised his grandfather whereas he was a visitor on the Local weather of Change podcast collection with Cate Blanchett and Danny Kennedy, the place he sat down to debate how Prince Philip and King Charles impressed him to tackle his personal causes.
‘I believe my grandfather and my father each type of having a deep ardour and curiosity on this space for a few years has kind of piqued my curiosity and my curiosity,’ stated William.
‘So rising up, I used to be surrounded by type of this journey and this concept of exploring and being out within the backyard.’
Between the Prince of Wales’ Earthshot Prize, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘s net-zero carbon pledge, and Charles’s lengthy historical past of outspoken environmental activism, the royals are following within the well-trod footsteps of Prince Philip.