Lord of the dance

Heir’s sons speak with af­fec­tion about his en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­forts in in­ter­view

The Sunday Telegraph - - Front page - By Han­nah Fur­ness ROYAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT in Ghana

The Prince of Wales is greeted by tra­di­tional dancers dur­ing a tour of the 17th-cen­tury Chris­tians­borg Cas­tle in Ac­cra, Ghana, dur­ing his nine-day tour of west Africa with the Duchess of Cornwall

AS MEM­BERS of one of the most priv­i­leged fam­i­lies on earth, the Prince of Wales could have taken his sons vir­tu­ally any­where on their fam­ily hol­i­days.

In­stead, the Dukes of Cam­bridge and Sus­sex have dis­closed that he taught them how to have a good time on out­ings to the Nor­folk coun­try­side, pick­ing lit­ter.

The broth­ers have told how their fa­ther took them out to pick up rub­bish, equip­ping them with poles and black bin bags to in­stil their love of the en­vi­ron­ment.

The Duke of Sus­sex said the habit was so in­grained that he en­dured teas­ing at school for pick­ing up stray lit­ter when out with friends.

In a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view in hon­our of the Prince of Wales’s 70th birth­day, the broth­ers spoke af­fec­tion­ately about their fa­ther, high­light­ing how he was ahead of his time in mak­ing speeches about the per­ils of plas­tic on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“He’s done an amaz­ing job,” said the Duke of Sus­sex. “With­out telling us what we should be do­ing or the di­rec­tion we should go in, he’s just let us learn from the na­ture of the job, learn from him, learn from Mummy.

“I used to get taken the mickey out of me at school for pick­ing up rub­bish. I didn’t go out con­sciously look­ing for it but when you go for walks any­where and you see some­thing and it stands out, you pick it up. And be­fore you know it, some­one is like ‘what are you do­ing? Where are you go­ing to put that?’ It’s like wow, I’ve lit­er­ally done this be­cause I’m pro­grammed to do it be­cause my fa­ther did it. We should all be do­ing it.”

The Duke of Cam­bridge added: “He took us lit­ter pick­ing when we were younger, on hol­i­day. We were in Nor­folk on school hol­i­days and we went out lit­ter pick­ing with him.

“We thought this is per­fectly nor­mal, ev­ery­one must do it. We were there with our spikes stab­bing the rub­bish into black plas­tic bags.”

On the topic of speak­ing out about the en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate change while fly­ing around the world by pol­lut­ing plane, Prince Wil­liam added: “Un­til some­one comes up with an elec­tric plane, it’s im­pos­si­ble to get around the world with­out us­ing a plane that’s there. He did take the crit­i­cism to heart quite a lot when he was younger.”

Yes­ter­day, as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall vis­ited Ghana, the Prince saw a glimpse of the prob­lem of plas­tics in the ocean at a beach out­side Chris­tians­borg Cas­tle, where he was given a tour of the build­ing. Built in 1661, it was once a fort owned by the Danes and used to keep slaves wait­ing to be trans­ported to the New World.

In a poignant mo­ment, the Prince walked down the spi­ral stair­case once used by slaves walk­ing to dun­geons where they were held for up to six months, paus­ing at the “Door of No Re­turn” which led them out on to the beach and on board wait­ing ships.

The doc­u­men­tary, Prince, Son And Heir: Charles At 70, will be broad­cast on Thurs­day Nov 8 on BBC One at 9pm.

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