Buckingham Palace Says King Charles Will Not Attend COP27 Climate Conference

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

One year ago, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland then Prince Charles gave a key address at the opening ceremony urging world leaders to adopt a “war-like footing” to rescue the planet. Throughout the summit, he attended multiple events across several days as well as making other speeches, reflecting his decades-long campaigning on the issue of climate change. However, when COP27 takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from November 6 to 18, the Prince will not attend, after seeking advice from the British government and agreeing he would not go.

Following a story in the Sunday Times yesterday evening saying that Prime Minister Liz Truss had told the King not to attend COP27, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the King will not go but emphasized that the decision was by unanimous agreement. T&C has been informed that the King sought advice from the government over his attendance and it was decided that this was not the right occasion for him to make his first overseas visit as sovereign. It was made clear that the King remains mindful of his new constitutional role, which requires the monarch to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters.

Kensington Palace also said last night that Prince William, who has made the environment a cornerstone of his royal work in launching the Earthshot Prize, will not be involved with this year’s summit. It remains unclear whether King Charles may have some kind of presence remotely, such as via a video address or message.

However, the lack of attendance from the British royal family at the climate event makes a marked change from last year when Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, and Kate attended multiple events, with William joining his father in making a passionate public plea on climate change. The Queen had even been due to attend but was forced to appear remotely instead after she “regretfully decided” not to travel due to ill health. Her speech, delivered by video link to an evening reception on the opening day of the summit, featured some of her most powerful comments on the subject of the environment. “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,” she said. “That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognize that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.”

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