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‘Irritating’: Queen overheard criticising world leaders for not committing to climate summit

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

The Queen at the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd in Cardiff. Pooled video
Image: The Queen’s comments were picked up on a livestream during a trip to Cardiff for the opening of the Senedd

Her comments would normally have remained private but they were picked up on a livestream.

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.”

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.

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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.

The Queen at the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd in Cardiff. Pooled video
Image: The Queen criticised people who ‘talk but don’t do’

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 also 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.