Why the Royal family are being criticised for their stance on COP26

Some have even gone as far as asking them to relinquish their titles.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some have even gone as far as asking them to relinquish their titles.

The Royal family have really stepped their support of climate change in the last few months.

Last week, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William and Kate all appeared at COP26, with Charles saying climate change posed an "existential threat, to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing" in his opening speech.

Prior to that, despite having to drop out of the climate conference due to ill health, in a rare candid moment, the Queen was overheard sharing her personal views on climate change, criticising leaders for "talking" rather than "doing".

In her COP26 appearance via video link, the Queen urged leaders to take action, saying: "I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship."

William has also launched the Earthshot Prize, a move to "generate a global movement to repair the planet."

Getty Images

It's fair to say, then, that their stance on the climate crisis is pretty clear.

Yet, some experts have spoken out against the Royal family, saying that their stance is too "political."

Peter Hitchens, a Mail on Sunday journalist, criticised the Royals while appearing on GB News.

He said: "What strikes me in more recent years, that [the Royal Family] has become more and more politically active.”

"So if you are a monarchist and especially if you disagree with some of the views they've been arguing, I think you're right to feel uneasy about it.”

“My view is quite simple: they want to get involved in politics and have activist views.”

Prince Charles wants to live in a ‘flat above a shop’ when he’s king

“Relinquish their role, stand for election and argue your point of view in the House of Commons like everybody else.”

Similarly, anti-monarchy group Republic said the royals do not deserve any praise for supporting the environment.

Speaking for the group, Graham Smith said: "Senior royals routinely make use of helicopters instead of cars and fly longer distances by private jet."

“And they all maintain multiple large houses that will have an enormous carbon footprint."

"In July this year, it was reported that the Queen has lobbied the Scottish Government for an exemption from environmental protection laws."

"The royals need to be challenged on their 'do as we say' attitude. They cannot seriously lecture the rest of us on the need to change how we live when they expect to travel by helicopter, private jet and royal train."

"The hypocrisy is staggering, and allowing people like Charles and William to portray themselves as environmentalists will only harm the cause of tackling climate change.

"Before the princes utter one more word about other people changing their way of life to reduce carbon emissions, they should ditch the helicopters and jets and try living like the rest of us."

What do you reckon - do you think the Royal family's involvement in the climate crisis is necessary or hypocritical?

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and is a stickler for a strong stat, too, seeing over nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.