King Charles III was warned he must “modify” his language on climate change after a speech he delivered on the subject in France clashed with Downing Street.
The 74-year-old spoke to the French senate this week, describing how climate change had become an “existential threat” while pleading with the UK and France to team up on the issue.
But his comments provoked some confusion as they came a day after Rishi Sunak vowed to move forward with his plans to water down green proposals.
It appeared to be a direct contradiction – despite the king toeing the Government’s line on its plans for the country.
But according to Lady Colin Campbell, a royal author and commentator, Charles’s speech was likely given the green light by Downing Street ahead of its delivery.
Speaking on GB News, she said: “Every single speech that is done by a head of state on a state visit is a collusion between the Government and Palace and all the contents are cleared by the Government.
“So everything the King said had the approval of the Government. I just think it is unfortunate timing.”
She added: “Having said that, I do think the King needs to modify his language every now and then.”
Charles’s speech was delivered to French lawmakers after Sunak announced Britain would row back on some of its key net zero pledges.
Among the vows that were snubbed included the push towards banning of petrol and diesel car sales back to 2035.
Charles, in French, outlined his wish for a “partnership for sustainability” between Paris and London.
He continued: “Just as we stand together against military aggression, so must we strive together to protect the world from our most existential challenge of all – that of global warming, climate change and the catastrophic destruction of nature.”
The monarch, who has spent much of his life campaigning on green issues, warned the “challenge facing our planet is both great and grave”.
He added: “I have long felt that our businesses can play a most vital role, working in partnership and harmony with our governments and our people, to channel trillions of dollars to the solutions that will enable a successful transition to a sustainable world.”
In response to criticism about his shift, Sunak said the UK would remain on course to hit its target of reducing emissions by 68 percent before 2030.
Hinting at other changes, he added: “We have to change the way we do politics. You can’t chase the short-term headline – you’ve got to do the things that are right in the long term. That’s not going to be easy. I know I’ll get criticism and flak for it, as you’ve seen over the last day or two.”
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