Has there ever been a more gilded eco-warrior than the Queen? | Rebecca Nicholson

In an example to her subjects, our monarch has now backed efforts to reduce plastic waste on the royal estates

In an ordinary week, a story involving the Sultan of Bahrain, the Queen and a farting horse, as recounted by Paul Burrell on the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, might top the list of most welcome royal family news. It even betters the announcement that Princess Diana will appear as a character in the imminent TV movie Harry and Meghan, though I suspect any involvement in their romance may require some creative interpretation.

But this was no ordinary week. The Queen, no doubt taking her cue from the almighty Blue Planet and the warning toll of its final episode, has backed plans to reduce plastic waste on the royal estates. Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will take steps to cut down significantly on plastic, using glass water bottles for meetings and phasing out non-biodegradable packaging in on-site cafes. Straws are out too, though, having seen The Crown, I’m aware that HM is unlikely to be supping through a straw; gin and Dubonnet has always seemed more sippable. In many ways, ditching plastic salad boxes is a small gesture, but in a country still so reverent towards its royals, it seems important they set an example.

Eco-friendly ideas are becoming far more mainstream, anyway, and climate change denial looks increasingly like the folly of the morally empty and corrupt, so I’m behind HM’s late and tentative blossoming into Queenpeace. I can get on board with the idea of a palace running along more environmentally friendly lines – ceremonial robes made from sustainable fibresand a recycled cardigan or two; plant-based banquets with locally sourced, seasonal produce (this will tee up Charles, a long-time supporter of organic food and local farming, who should be able to help with some names and numbers). Perhaps they could put the brakes on all those bloodsports while they’re at it.


Rebecca Nicholson

The GuardianTramp

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