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The recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II has been felt across the globe. The Queen was as devoted to her country as she was to the planet. From supporting reforestation projects and using solar panels, to requesting the British public to plant trees, and growing her own produce, The Queen was at the forefront of environmentalism and sustainability.

Remembering the Queen: The Royal Household and the Environment

“Time for words has now moved to the time for action”

These famous words from Her Majesty the Queen around Cop26 ring louder than ever in the week of her passing. Queen Elizabeth stood for duty and sustainability, using her position to highlight the changes we need to make as a country, and as a Kingdom united.

Since 1994, the Queen had been reducing her carbon footprint by using a combined heat and power system at the palace. The Royal Household and the environmental choices made around it have helped to increase efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and a reliance on the National Grid. Installing over 60 smart meters across the estate allowed the queen to monitor energy consumption and identify areas for improvement. Both the palace, and her home in Scotland are optimised for energy performance, minimising excess usage.

The Royal Household has been committed to minimising its environmental impact, while taking steps to become more sustainable, including using energy-efficient LED lighting and hydro-electricity  plants. The Household also recycles a range of materials, from paper and card to food waste and textiles. In addition, it composts green waste and uses it to fertilise the gardens at Buckingham Palace. Utilising the company ‘Computer aid international’ the Queen has also led the way in rehousing electrical equipment.

Remembering the Queen: Her Majesty’s green influence

Although the Queen had access to private chefs and just about every restaurant in the commonwealth, her dietary choices found themselves in local produce that had been grown within her eco-friendly garden. Queen Elizabeth II’s choice of growing food as opposed to seeking it in restaurants around the country had a history; as explained by royal historian Kate Williams, the Queen’s coronation in 1953 occurred around the time of national rationing. Her frugal food choices reflected her commitment to the planet, her health and her upbringing.

In December 2019, the news broke that Queen Elizabeth II would no longer be wearing fur, setting off a chain reaction throughout the industry. According to Lyst’s 2020 Conscious Fashion report, searches for faux fur products spiked 52% in the wake of the announcement.

The Queen’s jubilee year brought about a request from Her Majesty for everybody to plant trees where they could. This stood as a reflection of her commitment to a greener and more sustainable Britain.

Many trees were planted during Her Majesty’s reign, including commemorative oak’s in Windsor Great Park for her 1953 Coronation, in Christchurch during the 1977 Silver Jubilee tour of New Zealand, and in Hatfield House during the 2012 Diamond Jubilee tour. These trees are now thriving and provide ample shade and support for local wildlife. They reflected the intentions and good nature of Queen Elizabeth, leaving behind resources that will help the earth, even when she no longer can.

Remembering the Queen: History and climate

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and she has seen a great deal of change during her lifetime. When she was born in 1926, coal was still the primary source of energy in the UK, and cars were a rarity on British roads. Fast-forward to today, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power are playing an increasingly important role in the country’s electricity mix. Electric vehicles are becoming more common, including Bywaters’ very own electric dustcart. The UK has also made significant progress in tackling air pollution, which was a major problem during the Queen’s childhood. In 1953, a “great smog” blanketed London for five days, causing widespread disruption, claiming the lives of thousands of people. Thanks to tighter regulations on emissions, as well as the switch to cleaner forms of transport, air quality in the UK has improved dramatically in recent decades. Looking back over her 70 years on the throne.

A strong advocate for sustainability, both in the UK and internationally. In her 2019 Christmas broadcast, she spoke of the need to protect our planet for future generations. In 2020, she became a patron of the Earthshot Prize, an initiative from her grandson that aims to find solutions to some of our biggest environmental challenges. The Queen also encouraged sustainable practices at her own residences, from installing solar panels at Windsor Castle to creating a wildflower meadow at Balmoral.

How will King Charles continue the legacy?

Back in 1986, King Charles started his own charity called The Prince’s Trust. The Trust has since helped over 1 million young people in the UK get into employment, education, and training. Many of these projects focus on sustainable living and environmental conservation.

King Charles III is committed to following in his mother’s footsteps when it comes to environmental concerns. The Queen had long been an advocate for protecting the planet, and her son appears to share her passion. In recent years, the King has made several public speeches about the importance of acting on climate change. He has also spoken out against plastic pollution and other forms of environmental destruction.

In addition to his public advocacy, the King is working to make changes within the royal household. He has led efforts to reduce energy consumption and waste. In 2010, he fought and won a legal battle to install solar panels at his home. As we also know, he shares his love for animals with his dearly beloved mother, as evidenced in his presidency of wildlife charity WWF. King Charles III is clearly determined to make a difference, and his work is sure to have a positive impact on the environment.

Grandson of the Queen, Prince William is also a champion for sustainability. In 2016, he launched United For Wildlife, a coalition, fighting against the illegal wildlife trade. The charity brings together governments, businesses, conservation groups, and individuals to tackle this global problem.

In Queen Elizabeth’s passing, it is clear she left behind more than memories. Remembering the Queen is remembering her devotion to sustainability, remembering she created a way of life to inspire and build. She led by example, striving to make today great but tomorrow better.


We at Bywaters are deeply saddened by the loss of the queen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the royal family and all those who have been impacted by this tragedy. The Queen was an exemplary leader and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed.






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