The Queen's sweet and subtle tributes to Prince Philip in her COP26 climate conference speech

By Zach Harper

The Queen's sweet and subtle tributes to Prince Philip in her COP26 climate conference speech

When the Queen appeared via video link on Nov. 1 to give a special address to COP26, the United Nations climate conference, she had a sweet tribute to Prince Philip beside her.

Her Majesty was seated at one of her desks at Windsor Castle, and next to her was a framed photo of the late Duke of Edinburgh. Around him were dozens of monarch butterflies.

The photo was taken during Philip's trip to Mexico in 1988 as part of his role as president of the World Wildlife Fund. He was watching the monarch butterflies migrate at the time, and had been working on special initiatives to maintain their habitats, which were threatened by deforestation in the Central American country.

Philip was passionate about helping the insects, which are vital for our planet in their role as pollinators.

Her Majesty was very appropriately dressed in green and was also wearing her diamond and ruby butterfly brooch, which is another sweet tribute to her late husband. She received the accessory a few days before she married the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, and also wore it during video calls back in June, shortly before what would have been Philip's 100th birthday.

RELATED: Prince Philip was a passionate environmentalist – and he passed that on to his children and grandchildren

In her remarks to the COP26 conference, the Queen pointed out her late husband's enthusiasm for protecting the environment and our planet.

"This is a duty I am especially happy to discharge, as the impact on the environment of human progress was a subject close to the heart of my dear late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. I remember well, that in 1969, he told an academic gathering, 'If the world's pollution situation is not critical the moment, it is as certain as anything an be that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time.'"

Her Majesty also cited the environmental work done by her eldest son, Prince Charles, and his eldest son, Prince William, as a "source of great pride," saying Philip's legacy lives on with them.

She continued by encouraging world leaders to "achieve true statesmanship" at the conference by working "for the people of tomorrow."

"It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit, written in history books yet to be printed, will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity, and that you answered the call of those future generations, that you left this conference as a community of nations, with the determination, the desire and a plan to address the impact of climate change, and to recognize the time for words has now moved to the time for action," she continued.

"Of course, the benefits of such actions will not be there to enjoy for all of us here today. We 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. And so I wish you every good fortune in this significant endeavour."

Last month, Her Majesty cancelled a trip to Northern Ireland that had been scheduled for Oct. 20 and 21 and spent a night in hospital as a precaution. Although she had been scheduled to attend the COP26 conference in person, she was told by medical staff to continue to rest, so opted to forgo the trip. She has since been told by her doctors to take two more weeks of rest, and will not appear at the Festival of Remembrance on Nov. 13.

Earlier at the opening of the conference, Charles gave a speech in which he urged world leaders to put politics aside and work together for the future of the planet. Calling climate change an "existential threat," he called for governments to work with the private sector to ensure an end to climate change worldwide.

The UN COP26 conference runs until Nov. 12 and plenty of royals, including Charles, William, Duchess Kate and Duchess Camilla are attending events in conjunction with the meeting.

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