Before his 2017 retirement, Philip was a vocal supporter for early conservation efforts. He was the co-founder and president of the WWF — World Wildlife Fund — from 1981 to 1996, and has shown a true passion for the environment over the years. He has undoubtedly influenced Prince Charles, his son, and his grandchildren Prince William and Prince Harry.
William even launched an unprecedented prize called the Earthshot, with Sir David Attenborough this week, which will reward £50million over the next decade to those who find sustainable solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.
During his ITV documentary, ‘Prince William: A Planet For Us All’, the Duke of Cambridge noted: “My grandfather [and] my father have been in the conservation, the environmental world for years.
“My grandfather’s well ahead of his time, my father, ahead of his time.
“And I really want to make sure that, in 20 years, George doesn’t turn round and say, ‘Are you ahead of your time?’ Because if he does, we’re too late.”
However, royal biographer Ingrid Seward claimed in her new book, ‘Prince Philip Revealed’, that the Duke of Edinburgh “refuses to describe himself as ‘green’”.
Speaking to the BBC in 2011, he said: “I think that there’s a difference between being concerned for the conservation of nature and being a bunny hugger… people who simply love animals.
“People can’t get their heads round the idea of a species surviving, you know, they’re more concerned about how you treat a donkey in Sicily or something.”
Philip is a hunting enthusiast and is believed to have one of the highest kill rates of the Royal Family.
For instance, there was a great public outcry when it was discovered he shot a tigress when in India in 1961.
READ MORE: Prince William’s past ‘threatens to undermine’ environmental message
His close friendship with Sir David Attenborough has also enabled the environmentalist to have a strong bond with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The Duke of Edinburgh told the BBC in 2011: “If we’ve got this extraordinary diversity on this globe, it seems awfully silly for us to destroy it.
“All these other creatures have an equal right to exist here, we have no prior rights to the earth than anybody else and if they’re here let’s give them a chance to survive.”
Philip was also praised for bringing modern thinking into the monarchy, through his passion for reinvention and science.
As Ms Seward noted: “Prince Philip has always believed that science is able to elucidate any problem.”
He has campaigned in favour of producing food under controlled scientific conditions on a global scale, to help end poverty, too.
‘Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century’ by Ingrid Seward was published by Simon & Schuster in 2020 and is available here.