The Queen’s touching tribute to Prince Philip in a landmark climate change speech

''Close to the heart of my dear late husband.''
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Queen Elizabeth has appeared at the Cop26 summit via video link to deliver a rousing speech about climate change, with a sweet nod to Prince Philip included.

In her first appearance since doctors advised her to rest for another two weeks following a recent health scare, Her Majesty spoke fondly of her late husband and his environmental work.

Addressing world leaders at the summit remotely, the 95-year-old said she was “delighted” to be involved – albeit, from afar.

Queen Elizabeth has honoured her late husband, Prince Philip.


“The impact of the environment on human progress was a subject close to the heart of my dear late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh,” she said in the video played on Monday night.

“I remember well that in 1969, he told an academic gathering ‘If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be, that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time… If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance’.”

Her Majesty shared the sweet memory more than six months after Philip’s death in April, just a few months shy of his 100th birthday.

She then gave a sweet nod to the next generation of royals, who are carrying on Philip’s work and championing new projects geared towards saving our planet.

“It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William,” the Queen added.

“I could not be more proud of them.”

Prince Charles and Prince William are both attending the summit in person, as are Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

They represent the new generation of royals who are supporting the Queen through her latest heath scare and will continue her work when she is gone.

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Reflecting on her long reign that’s reached almost seven decades, Her Majesty urged world leaders at the event to “rise above the politics of the moment” and take meaningful action around climate change.

“For more than 70 years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world’s great leaders. And I have perhaps come to understand a little about what made them special,” she said.

“It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow — that is statesmanship.”

Concluding her video message, the Queen made perhaps the most poignant and heartbreaking statement of all.

Her Majesty addressed world leaders via video link.


“None of us will live forever. But we are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps,” she told the audience.

Her comments come after weeks of concern for her health, after she was hospitalised in mid-October for “preliminary investigations” and forced to cancel a number of appearances.

Though she looked to be in great health – and great spirits – in her video message, royal watchers are keeping a close eye on the ageing monarch.

Prince Charles will become king when she eventually steps down from the throne or dies, but many are hopeful that day is still a ways off yet.

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