Protecting forests by Royal appointment

The Queen’s Green Planet

9pm, ITV, Monday, April 16

THIS unique, landmark documentary follows Her Majesty the Queen and an ambitious legacy project to create a global network of protected forests, spanning the 52 countries of the Commonwealth.

This project, called the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, brings together Her Majesty’s deeply held commitment to the Commonwealth and her little-known love of trees.

At the heart of the film is a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough filmed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace last summer. In a rare opportunity to see the Queen talking informally to Sir David, the conversation ranges from climate change, to conkers and birthday gifts.

In the often humorous exchange, the Queen reveals her passion for nature and how the garden’s history is intertwined with that of her family, charting the lives of her children but also delving into the past of her great, great grandparents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Discussing a mulberry tree planted in the early 1600s by James I to attract silk worms Her Majesty comments: “They chose the wrong variety and so the silk worms didn’t produce anything, which was a great disappointment to him I believe.”

The Queen also reveals that she is often given new varieties of plants as gifts, adding: “I’ve been quite difficult to give presents to so…they’ve said, ‘Oh, let’s give her a plant.’”

The film follows members of the Royal Family involved so far in making the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy a reality, including Prince Harry planting trees in the Caribbean, and Prince William and his family in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Prince Harry says: “I think I’m closing in on my half century of trees planted, but I reckon the Queen is up in the thousands.”

The Queen’s grandsons have inherited her instinct for conservation with Princes William and Harry equally supportive of the ambition to protect forests of all kinds.

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