On Thursday, September 8, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain passed away. During her life, she has been an advocate for caring for the natural environment and combating the effects of climate change, as well as being an environmental influencer. The choices she made during her reign influenced British consumer habits.
In November 2021, Queen Elizabeth II sent a message to the participants of the 26th United Nations Climate Conference, which was held in Glasgow. Although health issues prevented her from attending the event in person, in a special video she spoke about the high hopes she has for the Climate Summit.
– The time for talking has passed, it is time for action – she stressed. I hope that during this conference everyone will rise above everyday politics like true statesmen.
However, the message to the participants in the Climate Summit was not the only manifestation of the environmental activism of Elizabeth II. The British Queen has repeatedly set an example of her commitment to the environment, in both private and government affairs.
green queen umbrella
In 2018, in a television interview with Sir David Attenborough, Elizabeth II spoke about the important role trees play in the history of Great Britain. In the garden of Buckingham Palace, they are a form of memorializing the former royalty and teenagers of the royal family. She also noted that her dream is to create a global network of forest areas in 53 countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Nations.
Echoes of this dream can be seen in the Queen’s Green Canopy project. It was announced as part of the Platinum Jubilee, that is, the 70th anniversary of the reign of Elizabeth II. The Queen encouraged the British to plant trees throughout the British Isles. According to the interactive map, no less than 6.6 thousand plants were planted in this way. It was a lovely gift for the Queen, who planted the trees herself during her visits – more than 1,500 in total.
Fur has become obsolete
However, Elizabeth II was not only the face of climate activism. Information from Buckingham Palace directly affected the choices of British consumers. When the Queen announced in 2019 that she would be giving up wearing real fur, many people followed suit. According to the Conscious Moda 2020 report, prepared by British fashion organization Lyst, Elizabeth II’s decision led to a 52 percent increase in interest in faux fur.
The Queen was also an advocate of the use of local food products. Her initiative was to place beehives in the gardens of Buckingham Palace so that they could use fresh honey. In addition, Elizabeth II wore the same clothes over and over again, never ditched the wrapping paper, and used the same furniture for decades. The roots of this saving go back to the Queen’s youth – in the difficult decades after the war, everyone used to save, even the royal family.
The carbon footprint of the royal family
The British royal family finds it difficult to contribute to the discussion of climate change due to the huge carbon footprint of being a member of it. Many domestic and foreign visits, multi-hectare real estate – all these factors put a lot of pressure on the natural environment. However, its members are aware of this effect and are trying to reduce it. In 2021, the Queen began using a hybrid car to reduce the environmental impact of her travels.
The Queen’s vision for environmental protection is best summarized in the way she ended her message to participants at the 2019 Climate Conference.
“Of course, we are not the ones who will feel the benefits of such actions: none of us will live forever,” she said. – We do it not for ourselves, but for our children, our children’s children and those who will follow – she indicated.
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National Geographic, Global Citizen, Sky News, Associated Press
Main image source: Avalon / Door / Photoshoot
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