British King Charles III. Contrary to previous plans, he will not travel to the world climate summit in Egypt next November. Buckingham Palace confirmed this to Sky News on Sunday after the Sunday Times reported that the new prime minister, Liz Truss, wanted to prevent the king from attending.
An unnamed senior Palace source told the paper the decision was made in the spirit that Charles, as Britain’s head of state, was always willing to act “on the advice of the government”.
While the 73-year-old has been a pioneer in climate protection for decades, Truss strikes a completely different note. She wants to get back to Britain’s climate-damaging fracking, develop new gas fields and has named conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg energy minister, who has expressed skepticism about climate change in the past.
According to government circles, the report said the palace and government had jointly decided that there were “more suitable options for the new king’s first state visit”.
The royal source close to Charles told the Times that the king was “personally disappointed” as he had already scheduled meetings and a speech at the summit. However, he will still find ways to be present at the most important international climate policy meeting. Queen Elizabeth II gave a video address to heads of government gathered in Glasgow last year. Charles was there personally at the time and made an urgent appeal to the world to do more to combat the impending climate catastrophe.
The controversy is seen as the first sign of a new, less reserved approach from the royal family, as Charles’ discontent with the decision has leaked out. In the past, as heir to the throne, Charles was famous for letting governments know of his concerns. In his first speech as king, however, he admitted that from now on some of the concerns of his heart could no longer be pursued in the same way.