The Queen hails Charles and William’s environmental campaigning in COP26 speech but fails to mention Prince Harry whose ‘ethical’ banking company invests in oil companies

  • The Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘answer the call of those future generations’  
  • Monarch also paid tribute to Prince Philip and described how the environment was a subject close to his heart
  • She said: ‘It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I could not be more proud of them’
  • Prince Harry has also campaigned on the environment but was a ‘glaring’ omission from speech, experts say 

The Queen failed to mention Prince Harry as she used her powerful plea to world leaders over the climate crisis last night to praise Prince Philip and gush over Prince Charles and Prince William for carrying on her late husband’s work to protect ‘our fragile planet’.

Royal watchers have said the decision not namecheck her environmentalist grandson while addressing COP26 was a ‘glaring’ omission because the Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan are so vocal about green issues.  

In a pre-recorded message for delegates in Glasgow last night, Her Majesty spoke with unusual candour of her pride in her family and their stance on the environment – from ‘my dear late husband’, the Duke of Edinburgh, to her son the Prince of Wales and grandson the Duke of Cambridge. 

The Queen said: ‘It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I could not be more proud of them.’  

She included a poignant nod to her advancing years, saying many involved in the Glasgow summit – including herself – would not see the fruits of their actions, adding: ‘None of us will live for ever.’ But she stressed: ‘We are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps.’

Her praise for her son and grandson came just days after Prince Charles spoke affectionately in public about William – but again failed to mention Harry – as he said: ‘I am very proud of my son, William, for his growing commitment to the environment and the bold ambition of The Earthshot Prize’.

As his relationship with his British family remains strained because of repeated potshots from the US, Prince Harry and Meghan have also been vocal about the need for action on climate change but are yet to give a statement as politicians and business leaders gather in Glasgow to thrash out a deal. The couple have also been branded hypocrites for their use of private jets as well as their recent decision to publicly and financially back an ‘ethical’ Wall Street fund that invests in oil and gas.

The Queen praised William and Charles – but not Harry – as she urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘to rise above the politics of the moment in her address to leaders at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last night

The monarch, who was speaking via video, also paid tribute to Prince Philip and described how ‘ the impact of the environment on human progress’ was a subject close to the heart of her ‘dear late husband’ as Charles, Camilla, William and Kate poignantly watched on the screen (top right of picture)

Charles also recently spoke of his pride for William’s work on the environment but made no mention of Harry who quit royal duties and Britain in 2020 to move to California with Meghan

Harry, pictured in 2019, has said that climate change is the most pressing problem the world faces alongside mental health 

In May Harry declared it was ‘pretty depressing’ that children were growing up in a world where their home country was ‘either on fire or underwater’, insisting that climate change must be tackled ‘at the source’. 

Speaking to Oprah Winfrey for his AppleTV show, the Duke said: ‘I know lots of people out there are doing as best they can to try and fix these issues – but that whole sort of analogy of walking into the bathroom with a mop when the bath is over-flooding, rather than just turning the tap off’.  

The Queen’s full speech to world leaders at COP26

‘Thank you, Prime Minister Holness, for your kind words of introduction. I am delighted to welcome you all to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference; and it is perhaps fitting that you have come together in Glasgow, once a heartland of the industrial revolution, but now a place to address climate change. 

‘This is a duty I am especially happy to discharge, as the impact of the environment on 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 pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be, that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time … If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance.’

 ‘It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. 

‘I could not be more proud of them. Indeed, I have drawn great comfort and inspiration from the relentless enthusiasm of people of all ages – especially the young – in calling for everyone to play their part.

‘In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend. 

‘None of us underestimates the challenges ahead: but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope. Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities.

 ‘For more than seventy years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world’s great leaders. And I have perhaps come to understand a little about what made them special.

‘It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow — that is statesmanship. 

‘I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship. 

‘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 a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.

‘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. ‘

 

The Queen spoke last night of the need for world leaders to put aside division and act now for the sake of ‘our children’.

Royal watcher and body language expert Judy James said her speech was ‘stunningly emotional’ because of her tributes to her family. 

She said: ‘Her pride also spills over as she refers to the way that “the leading role my husband played lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William”. But she added ‘The glaring omission of Harry’s name on this list will probably be discussed but the Queen seems emphatic about the chain of eldest to eldest being remarkable’.

In her first major intervention on the environment, the 95-year-old monarch said they should ‘rise above the politics’ and show ‘true statesmanship’ on the issue.

Speaking in a video message – played at a reception marking the first day of the Cop26 climate summit – the Queen declared: ‘The time for words has now moved to the time for action.’ 

She struck a markedly positive note, saying that ‘working side by side’ the world’s leaders could solve ‘the most insurmountable problems’ and ‘triumph over the greatest of adversities’.

The Queen had been due to deliver the speech in person but had to ‘reluctantly’ pull out of attending the summit last week on her doctor’s advice. Instead, she recorded her video message at Windsor Castle on Friday to be played last night.  

She added she had also ‘drawn great comfort and inspiration from the relentless enthusiasm of people of all ages – especially the young – in calling for everyone to play their part’.

She emphasised the enormous task ahead, saying: ‘In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend.

‘None of us underestimates the challenges ahead, but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope. Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities.’ But in a pointed intervention, the sovereign, who will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next year, said: ‘It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow, that is statesmanship.

‘I, for one, hope this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment and achieve true statesmanship.’

She added: ‘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 a determination, a desire and a plan to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.’

Her message came as Prince Charles delivered one of his most important speeches in five decades of environmental lobbying, also warning world leaders: ‘Time has run out.’

In a keynote address at the opening session, the heir to the throne called for a ‘military-style campaign’ involving the global private sector, which he believes holds the key to solving the world’s climate crisis. He told his audience: ‘I can only urge you, as the world’s decision-makers, to find practical ways of overcoming differences so we can all get down to work together to rescue this precious planet and save the threatened future of our young people.’

Meghan and Harry controversially ‘impact partners’ and investors at sustainable Wall Street firm Ethic, who were found to be helping clients buy shares in oil, gas and other controversial industries

The future king, 72, said the Covid-19 pandemic, however devastating, proved how the global community can pull together when faced with a global, cross-border threat.

‘Climate change and biodiversity loss are no different – in fact, they pose an even greater existential threat, to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing,’ he said.

‘We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal – far beyond global GDP and, with the greatest respect, beyond even the governments of the world’s leaders – it offers the only real prospect of achieving fundamental economic transition.’

It came as Prince Charles, 72, warned world leaders that ‘time has run out’ and called for a ‘military-style campaign’ to tackle the climate crisis.

In a keynote address at the opening session, he said: ‘Many of your countries are already feeling the devastating impact of climate change, through ever-increasing droughts, mudslides, floods, hurricanes, cyclones and wildfires.

‘Any leader who has had to confront such life-threatening challenges knows that the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of prevention.

‘So, I can only urge you, as the world’s decision-makers, to find practical ways of overcoming differences so we can all get down to work to rescue this precious planet and save the threatened future of our young people.’

He added: ‘Climate change and biodiversity loss are no different, in fact, they pose an even greater existential threat, to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.

‘I know that you all carry a heavy burden on your shoulders and do not need me to tell you that the eyes, and hopes, of the world are upon you to act with all despatch, and decisively, because time has run out.’ 

It also comes after Boris Johnson kicked off the climate change summit by exhorting world leaders to back up their talk on climate change with action – warning it was ‘one minute to midnight’.

The PM used his speech at the opening of the summit as a rallying cry to try to build momentum as he welcomed foreign leaders to Glasgow after securing only lukewarm climate commitments at the G20 summit in Rome over the weekend. 

Meanwhile Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, today accused countries of ‘treating nature like a toilet’ as he warned of a looming ‘climate catastrophe’. 

The Queen’s speech came at the end of a busy first full day of climate negotiations in Glasgow that also saw:

  • Around 120 leaders attended the two-day World Leaders’ Summit at the beginning of the two-week Cop26 conference in Glasgow;  
  • Some including Prime Minister Boris Johnson were criticised for flying by private jet from the G20 summit in Rome to make it back for the start of the summit; 
  • Delegates at the opening ceremony heard stark warnings in speeches from Mr Johnson, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, and Sir David Attenborough; 
  • Mr Guterres was accused of hyperbole for suggested countries were ‘digging our own graves’ and treating nature ‘like a toilet’; 
  • Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had to apologised for comparing the failure to face the threat of climate change with the Nazi’s genocide in the 1930s; 
  • Dozens of protest groups including Extinction Rebellion and Glasgow Calls Out Polluters are holding rallies just outside the UN conference’s ‘ring of steel’.

Mr  Johnson said: ‘What we’ve got today, as Her Majesty alluded to, is the biggest gathering of world leaders in this country since the foundation of the UN at the end of the Second World War, and it’s quite an extraordinary historic event. 

What are the key aims at COP26? 

  • Secure commitments on cutting emissions by 2030 and reaching Net Zero as close to 2050 as possible.
  • Keep alive hopes of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.
  • Phase out unabated coal power stations, drum up investment in renewable energy.
  • Strike deals on reducing deforestation.  
  • Rack up $100billion in climate finance pledges.
  • Finalise rules to implement the Paris Agreement.  

‘But in a way, what we are doing today, is even more important, because we face nothing less than a mortal threat to our planet and to our civilisation, to our way of life.’ 

The PM later added: ‘How do you turn COP into ‘coup’, what do you add to turn COP into ‘coup’? 

‘You add ‘u’, you add ‘you’. It’s a very simple idea, you add ‘u’. You can make the difference, you can turn this COP into a gigantic coup, because you have the ideas, you have the imaginations, you have the technology, the flair, and a lot of you have the money to do it. 

‘And the people of the world are looking at us tonight, they are looking at us over the course of the next few days to turn this thing round.’

The PM also hailed Prince Charles as the man to defuse the bomb at the world’s moment of danger.

He told guests: ‘You heard me earlier on say this was a job for James Bond. Well we have somebody who drives an electric Aston Martin who has a plan to defuse the ticking time bomb.

 ‘l just want to say you’re a prophet without honour and you’ve been right for a very long time.’

Earlier today, Boris Johnson told world leaders that they could no longer afford to delay taking major action to address climate change as he warned ‘the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets’.

The Prime Minister compared the situation facing the globe to the climax of a James Bond film where the hero has to thwart plans to blow up the planet.

But Mr Johnson said ‘this is not a movie’ and the ‘doomsday device is real’ as he urged his counterparts to do more to reduce harmful emissions.

The premier said the longer countries wait to take action then ‘the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act’.

He said the world has ‘long since run the clock down on climate change’ and there is now just ‘one minute to midnight’, with action required immediately to prevent a global disaster. 

The PM used his speech at the opening of the summit as a rallying cry to try to build momentum as he welcomed foreign leaders to Glasgow after securing only lukewarm climate commitments at the G20 summit in Rome over the weekend.

However, hopes for the UN event have suffered fresh setbacks, after it emerged that China’s president Xi Jinping will not even give a ‘virtual’ speech, instead only submitting a written statement.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan also announced he will not be coming, despite attending the G20. 

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, both in charge of big polluters, have also declined to attend.

Meanwhile, the organisation of the conference has come under fire after thousands of delegates were forced to wait hours to get through shambolic security systems.   

Mr Johnson pledged in his lunchtime speech to put another billion pounds into green finance – as long as the UK economy performs as expected in the coming years.

The PM repeated he wanted global leaders to unveil steps on ‘coal, cars, cash and trees’ – the things he believes will make the most different in limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

Mr Johnson had set the tone as the G20 wrapped up last night by reading the riot act to his fellow world leaders, saying their promises on tackling climate change are starting to ‘sound hollow’.

The PM said there are ‘no compelling excuses for our procrastination’ on reducing harmful emissions and action already taken amounts to ‘drops in a rapidly warming ocean’. 

One scrubs up well! Kate Middleton dazzles in a custom blue Eponine coat dress next to dapper Prince William as pair attend Earthshot reception at Cop26 just hours after getting muddy with the Scouts

Kate Middleton looked the picture of poise in a the coat dress and navy heels as she walked alongside Prince William in a dapper suit as they arrived at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum just hours after getting her hands dirty as she threw mud with Scouts in the Scottish city. 

Wearing her hair back in a low bun, the Duchess opted for a glamorous make-up look for the ceremony tonight where she was hosted Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Boris Johnson as well as key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the winners and finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards.

Her custom dress came from Eponine’s SS20 collection and made from a double wool crepe fabric, the price is available on application but similar items cost around £2400.

The Duchess of Cambridge proved she scrubbed up well tonight as she swapped her muddy outdoor outfit for a dazzling evening gown to attend the Earthshot reception at Cop26 in Glasgow tonight.

Not so sure! William didn’t look pleased as his wife offered him a tub of dead larvae

Relaxed royal! Kate laughs as she offers a tub of dead larvae, used as livestock feed, to guests at a reception

Kate Middleton looked the picture of poise in a blue coat dress and navy heels as she walked alongside Prince William in a dapper suit.

William and Kate joined Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall for the ceremony in Glasgow this evening

Although it’s believed the royal hasn’t worn the dress in public before, it’s likely it’s not new as the collection is 18 months old. 

The duchess added a touch of glam with dazzling diamond earrings and a poppy badge ahead of Remembrance Sunday. 

Meanwhile, Camilla, 74, opted for a teal Bruce Oldfield featuring buttons recycled from another outfit while Prince Charles 

William and Kate’s appearance comes just hours after royal couple, both 39, visited Alexandra Park Sports Hub in Dennistoun to meet with Scouts from and learn more about the group’s’ #PromiseToThePlanet campaign.

The event marked the first engagement for the couple since they arrived in the Scottish city for the COP26 conference which has brought world leaders together to discuss urgent action on climate change.

Kate dressed down in black jeans, a black polo neck a khaki green gilet, her favourite pair of £250 See by Chloe boots and a Scouts woggle to meet Cub and Beaver Scouts this afternoon. 

The Duchess, who previously volunteered with the Scouts and was a Brownie growing up, appeared in good spirits during the outdoor engagement as she beamed and threw dirt as part of a ‘wild flower bombing’ bombing activity where they joined the children to throw soil packed with seeds onto a grassy bank.

The duchess added a touch of glam with dazzling diamond earrings and a poppy badge ahead of Remembrance Sunday

Wearing her hair back in a low bun, the Duchess opted for a glamorous make-up look for the ceremony tonight where she was hosted Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Boris Johnson as well as key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the winners and finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards.

William and Katespeak with guests at a reception for the key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Winners and Finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards at the Clydeside Distillery, on the sidelines of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow

William and Katespeak with guests at a reception for the key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Winners and Finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards at the Clydeside Distillery, on the sidelines of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, speaks to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as they attend an evening reception to mark the opening day of the COP26

Prince of Wales speaks to guests at a reception for the key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Winners and Finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards at the Clydeside Distillery

The royal dressed down in a pair of black skinny jeans, and wrapped up against the chilly weather in a green quilted gilet, a new addition to the royal wardrobe. 

The mother-of-three finished the look with her trusty brown suede See By Chloé boots, which feature leather trim detailing on a round-toe, lace-up base.

Proving her eco credentials, Kate has often worn the boots, opting for them three times last year, including for a visit to a community garden in north London in January, and to the Scouts London headquarters in March.  

The royal’s hair cascaded around her shoulder in looser tonged waves, with the emphasis on sleek and natural rather than voluminous and bouncy. 

Kate was named joint president of the Scouts last year. Kate is sharing the position – her first presidency of an organisation – with the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, who has been president of the youth movement since 1975. 

Kate and Prince William could be seen beaming as they met with the group of Scouts and their parents during the outing in Glasgow today 

The couple could be seen joking with one another as they arrived for their first outing for the Cop26 conference today in Glasgow 

One of their hosts was 12-year-old Lewis Howe, one of the 26 #OneStepGreener Ambassadors recently announced by the UK Government – extraordinary, everyday people who are going above and beyond for the climate. 

Through Scouting, Lewis is taking positive action on the issues that matter to him the most and challenging all Scottish schools to reduce food waste by using surplus food to create meals for those in need using environmentally friendly packaging.

The Duke and Duchess went on to take part in activities that demonstrate how Scouting is helping to equip young people with the skills to tackle climate change.

They also learned how millions of Scouts across the globe have been contributing to the #PromiseToThePlanet campaign, raising awareness of the consequences of climate change and encouraging individual as well as collective action to address it. 

Kate was previously a volunteer with a Cub Scout pack when she and the Duke of Cambridge lived in Anglesey, North Wales.

She has carried out numerous visits to Scout groups over the years, including joining Cubs in North Wootton, near King’s Lynn in Norfolk, in 2016 to celebrate 100 years of the youth movement and visiting the Scouts’ headquarters in Gilwell Park in Essex in 2019. 

The Duke and Duchess are in Glasgow representing the crown alongside Camilla and Prince Charles.

Earlier today, The Duke of Cambridge tweeted: ‘COP26 is a landmark moment for the future of our planet — I’m proud that our @EarthshotPrize Finalists will be joining me in Glasgow to show the world that there is reason to be optimistic’.  

Prince Charles used his COP26 address to demand a ‘military-style campaign’ to mobilise trillions of dollars of private sector cash to ‘save our precious planet’.

The Duke of Cornwall said the pandemic had taught the world ‘timelines can be sped up dramatically’ when everyone ‘agrees on the urgency and the direction’.

The Duke and Duchess went on to take part in activities that demonstrate how Scouting is helping to equip young people with the skills to tackle climate change

The future king said top CEOs and businesses he had spoken to confirmed they were ready to do their part to protect the globe from climate change.

The Prince was pictured speaking to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez about climate change at Dumfries House last night.

Charles’s passionate plea for action came as he addressed world leaders at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow today.

The Royal took to the stage after an emotive video showing the devastation humans had done to the planet.

On his way up the steps Charles, 72, stumbled but managed to regain his stride before delivering his speech.

Meanwhile The Queen was out driving close to Windsor Castle today as she takes a two-week break from duties amid fears for her health after her secret overnight stay in hospital late last month.

The images of Her Majesty behind the wheel will ease concerns for the 95-year-old’s health after her aides announced on Friday that she would be taking a fortnight break from her duties on doctor’s advice. 

The appearance today comes after royal experts suggested that there could now be a ‘reassessment and possibly a slight gear change in the kind of work the Queen does’ after the monarch dramatically pulled out of attending Cop26.

Six days before the 95-year-old was due to attend a reception and give a speech at the landmark conference, Buckingham Palace said she had ‘regretfully’ decided not to go – and would instead remain at Windsor Castle.

The Queen will continue to work behind the scenes while next week’s climate change summit takes place in Glasgow and record a video message – but there could now be a change in the distances she travels in future.

It comes amid fears for the health of Queen – who will film a video message which will be broadcast to delegates in Glasgow – after she was forced to cancel a visit to Northern Ireland at the 11th hour last Wednesday.

Palace sources insisted that her decision not to travel to Scotland was simply a ‘sensible precaution’ in light of her doctor’s advice to rest and that she was determined the conference should be a success.

Another source said it would have been ‘unwise’ for the Queen to make the 800-mile round trip from Windsor to Glasgow for the major event which aims to agree crucial global action on climate change.

Royal expert Roya Nikkhah said: ‘We had some quite interesting background guidance yesterday from royal sources saying that although she’s not going to be there in person, she is going to filming this video address this week and she is going to be working behind the scenes to make sure there are meaningful actions.

‘And I thought what was really interesting was the guidance we had that she’s very keen that other world leaders and heads of state don’t use her absence as an excuse not to attend. So she’s following it very, very closely.’

Ms Nikkah, royal editor of the Sunday Times, who was speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, added: ‘It’s quite a trip for a 95-year-old and she’s had this incredibly packed both public and private diary for a few weeks, which has obviously left her pretty tired. 

‘And I think the feeling probably was – we don’t know, because we’re not doctors – but the feeling probably was from her doctors it was a little bit much for her to go up and do all that.

‘And it’s not just the travel – it’s also being on. It’s also entertaining and hosting world leaders, talking to them about climate change and all of that – I think the feeling probably is that’s just a little bit too much at the moment until she’s back to full strength.’ 

She continued: ‘I think there will be a reassessment and possibly a slight gear change in the kind of work the Queen does, the distances she travels, but I don’t think we will see – all being well, if the Queen is able to continue with public duties as we hope that she will be – I think we will still see her out and about as much as she and her doctors feel she can.

‘I think there will be a gear change, and her private secretaries and her diary secretaries looking at engagements that come in and thinking what does Her Majesty the Queen really need to be at, and what does she feel she really can do.

‘So I think there will be a constant review going forwards now.’

Last week, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘Following advice to rest, The Queen has been undertaking light duties at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty has regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception of Cop26 on Monday, November 1. Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the reception but will deliver an address to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message.’

The palace has still not explained why the Queen was taken to hospital last week.

After it was announced she had cancelled the Northern Ireland visit, the palace initially said the monarch was resting at Windsor. It was only 36 hours later, after news had leaked out, that a spokesman confirmed she had been admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital in London for ‘preliminary investigations’.

Aides had hoped that the head of state would be well enough to lead the Royal Family at the summit, either in person or via video-link. And earlier on Tuesday she returned to work at Windsor, where she is resting on doctors’ orders, for the first time since last week.

Prince Charles has demanded a ‘military-style campaign’ to mobilise trillions of dollars of private sector cash to ‘save our precious planet’

The pictures show her face on a computer screen as she greeted the new ambassador from the Republic of Korea, Gunn Kim, who was at Buckingham Palace. She also spoke to the new Swiss ambassador, Markus Leitner.

The Queen’s decision not to attend Cop26 will be a blow to organisers. There are few people on the world stage who command the same respect and authority as the British monarch. 

With the head of state missing from the event, it is hoped no world leaders will use her absence as a reason not to attend the summit.

It previously emerged that Xi Jinping – president of China, now the planet’s biggest polluter – is skipping the much-anticipated conference.

The Royal Family will still be represented by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge – both of whom have strong environmental campaigning credentials – as well as the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Senior royal aides said the Queen will be working hard behind the scenes to make the summit a success.

She will film her video message at Windsor Castle later this week and has let it be known that she ‘very much wants Cop26 to be a success and see meaningful actions’.  

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