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Queen says she’s ‘irritated’ by leaders who ‘talk but don’t do’ on climate ahead of COP26 summit

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The Queen has said she is “irritated” by the lack of progress on climate issues ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

The 95-year-old monarch was speaking after opening the Senedd in Cardiff as she criticised those who “talk but don’t do”.

She was filmed in conversation with the Duchess of Cornwall and Elin Jones, the Senedd’s presiding officer.

Queen Elizabeth II looks at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Baton that will carry a message from her during a relay which starts at Buckingham Palace in London before 7,500 bearers take the baton on a 90,000-mile journey to all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth over 294 days. Picture date: Monday October 4, 2021.
Image: The Queen criticised people who ‘talk but don’t do’

Her comments would normally have remained private but they were picked up on a livestream and reported in several national newspapers.

She said: “I’ve been hearing all about COP. Still don’t know who is coming… no idea.

“We only know about people who are not coming… and it’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.”

More on Cop26

The Queen will attend a diplomatic reception at the summit, with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Among the world leaders thought to be staying away is Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping have not confirmed their attendance.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the Queen’s remarks.

Earlier on Thursday, the Queen’s grandson Prince William criticised the space race, saying that it detracts from the work needed to save the planet.

The Duke of Cambridge told the BBC: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”

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His comments were made after Star Trek actor William Shatner became the oldest person to reach space. The film star called his trip “the most profound experience”.

The 90-year-old blasted off from Texas on a Blue Origin rocket – the space company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, fellow billionaires Richard Branson and Elon Musk have developed their own space programmes.

The duke said the COP26 summit required world leaders to communicate “very honestly” and “very clearly” about solutions to global warming.

“We can’t have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action,” he said.