THE proud conservationist Prince Charles reaffirmed his advocacy for climate change while visiting the Great Barrier Reef earlier this year, claiming the world needed to address the issue now.
New footage of the future King visiting Queensland‚Äôs Lady Elliott Island in April was included in BBC‚Äôs new documentary Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70.
‚ÄúYou must understand the importance of all these remarkable natural ecosystems,‚ÄĚ he said while standing on the beach during his tour down under.
‚ÄúThey are our life support systems.‚ÄĚ
The Prince said necessary action needed to be taken to address climate change.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre running out of time,‚ÄĚ he said.
Prince Charles used the documentary, which aired just days before his 70th birthday on November 14, to declare he wouldn‚Äôt meddle in public affairs when he becomes king.
After decades of lobbying politicians and pressure groups on his favourites causes, from town planning, architecture, alternative medicine, the environment and organic farming techniques, Prince Charles told the documentary maker he‚Äôs ‚Äúnot stupid‚Äô and understands the need to be non-political when he ascends the throne.
His sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, spoke affectionately of their childhoods during the footage, reminiscing about when they would pick up rubbish while on holidays.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs done an amazing job and without telling us what we should be doing,‚ÄĚ Prince Harry said.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a stickler for turning lights off and that‚Äôs now something that I am obsessed with as well.‚ÄĚ
Turning to his brother, Prince Harry joked about his new wife Meghan.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know whether your wife does it but my wife certainly goes ‚ÄėWhy are you turning the lights off?‚Äô‚ÄĚ, he said.
Prince William, who admitted to now having ‚Äúserious OCD‚ÄĚ with turning off lights, said his father was heralding climate change and plastic waste back in the 1970s.
For years there has been concern that Prince Charles would attempt to influence political and public decision-making, unlike his mother Queen Elizabeth, 92, who is scrupulously non-political.
Asked if his activism would continue in the same way, he replied: ‚ÄúNo, it won‚Äôt. I‚Äôm not that stupid, I do realise that it is a separate exercise being sovereign.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúSo of course I understand entirely how that should operate.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve tried to make sure whatever I‚Äôve done has been non-party political.‚Äô‚Äô
He said the idea that he would continue his activist ways when he became sovereign was ‚Äúcomplete nonsense because the two situations are completely different.‚Äô‚Äô
The comments are the most extensive the Prince of Wales has ever made on his activism. He has been heir to the throne for 67 years.
Asked in the documentary Prince, Son And Heir: Charles At 70 about his public campaigning, Prince Charles replied: ‚ÄúI always wonder what meddling is? I mean I always thought it was motivating.
‚ÄúBut I‚Äôve always been intrigued, if it‚Äôs meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago and what was happening or not happening there ‚ÄĒ the conditions in which people were living. If that‚Äôs meddling I‚Äôm very proud of it.‚Äô‚Äô
Prince Charles‚Äô oldest son Prince William, who is second-in-line to the throne, also features in the documentary, and says he wishes his father had more time to spend with his grandchildren.
William and his wife Catherine have three children, Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince Louis, seven months, and there have been widespread media reports that Charles has a somewhat distant relationship with his three grandchildren.
But Prince William tells the documentary: ‚ÄúHaving more time with him at home would be lovely, and being able to, you know, play around with the grandchildren.‚ÄĚ
He also says his father is ‚Äúthe fittest man I know but equally I want him to be fit until he‚Äôs 95.‚ÄĚ
Prince Charles‚Äô wife Camilla, who features in the show walking dogs with her husband and joking around with him, says the grandchildren ‚Äúadore‚Äô‚Äô Charles.
‚ÄúHe will get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours ‚Ä¶ making funny noises and laughing and my grandchildren adore him, absolutely adore him,‚Äô‚Äô she said.