ITV1 will air a one-off special documentary following ‘Her Majesty the Queen and an ambitious legacy project to create a global network of protected forests’ on Monday 16 April.
Focusing on the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and highlighting her little-known love of trees, the film, titled The Queen’s Green Planet, will have at its heart a conversation between the Queen and beloved nature broadcaster Sir David Attenborough in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
ITV teased it thus:
“In a rare opportunity to see the Queen talking informally to Sir David, the conversation ranges from climate change, to conkers and birthday gifts.
“In the often humorous exchange, the Queen reveals her passion for nature and how the garden’s history is intertwined with that of her family, charting the lives of her children but also delving into the past of her great, great grandparents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
“Discussing a mulberry tree planted in the early 1600s by James I to attract silk worms Her Majesty comments: “They chose the wrong variety and so the silk worms didn’t produce anything, which was a great disappointment to him I believe.
The Queen also reveals that she is often given new varieties of plants as gifts, adding: “I’ve been quite difficult to give presents to so…they’ve said, ‘Oh, let’s give her a plant.’”
The Queen’s Green Planet will also see Prince Harry planting trees in the Caribbean, Prince William and his family in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest and follow Angelina Jolie’s conservation work with the Namibian government.
“I think I’m closing in on my half century of trees planted,” Prince Harry commented, “but I reckon the Queen is up in the thousands.”
The Queen’s project was originally conceived by veteran Labour MP Frank Field, who explained: “I tried to get governments to do something to link the rainforests together in the Commonwealth and nobody was interested at all (Laughs). Tony Blair, great enthusiasm but nothing happened. Gordon Brown, no response at all. David Cameron’s coalition government, absolutely hopeless. The Queen jumped at it, I mean it’s extraordinary. I think she saw it as a way of a new politics for the Commonwealth.”
In a trailer for the documentary, Attenborough is seen telling the Queen this will be “a wonderful legacy”.
The Queen’s Green Planet airs Monday 16 April at 9pm.