Prince William speaking on issues ‘a mistake’ says host
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Prince William in his latest interview suggested entrepreneurs should focus on saving the Earth rather than focusing on space tourism. The Duke of Cambridge said great brains and minds should be “trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live”. The Earthshot Prize’s name is a reference to the “moonshot” ambition of 1960s America, which saw John F Kennedy pledge to get a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
The interview is airing today ahead of the awards ceremony, which is taking place on Sunday, October 17.
Speaking about the current space race and the drive to promote space tourism, William said: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.
“I think that ultimately is what sold it for me – that really is quite crucial to be focusing on this planet rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future.”
On Wednesday, Hollywood actor William Shatner became the oldest person to go to space as he travelled on the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule developed by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Prince William in new ‘controversial’ BBC interview for his Earthshot Prize (Image: GETTY / BBC / KENSINGTON PALACE)
Prince William with children from The Heathlands School doing Earthshot educational initiative (Image: GETTY)
However, William told Adam Fleming he had “absolutely no interest” in going as high as space, adding there was a “fundamental question” over the carbon cost of space flights.
Body language expert, Judi James, spoke to Express.co.uk about the Prince and analysed his actions in the interview which have been deemed by some to be controversial.
Judi said: "William's body language in this clip suggests this is 'fighting talk' from him, despite also using gestures of concern and despite moments of verbal modesty in the interview.
"He clearly knows this statement is going to be controversial and hard-hitting, especially given the fact that it coincided with Bezos's high-profile space flight.
"During the interview, William sits with his legs crossed and his elbows propped on the arms of his chair so that his illustrative hand gestures are visible to add emphasis and emotional endorsement to his words as he speaks.
"Describing his 'little bit of influence' and his 'little bit of profile' he seems to set himself in a place of modesty that sounds careful in contrast to his 'Making the world a better place' brother.
"His hands’ cup to hold an invisible ball that seems to be the planet as he speaks about the aims and goals of the Earthshot campaign, adding a nervous finger-pick ritual to speak of his anxieties: 'If we're not careful we are robbing our children’s future.'
"When he speaks of a 'rise in climate anxiety' he performs a rapid blink rate to show empathy with that anxiety, but it is when he gets to the part about space exploration that we can see a much firmer and more critical and opinionated man emerge.
Prince William and school children creating ideas for how to repair the planet (Image: GETTY)
"'We need to get the world's greatest minds fixed on repairing our planet' comes with a very precise, urgent-looking and emphatic downward poking of his index finger in a baton gesture to suggest authority and leadership.
"His lips tighten in a look of anger, and he directs his eyes toward the interviewer with what looks like a baleful stare to suggest resolve as he adds a rather telling reference: '…not trying to find the next place to live'.
"William adds a small eyebrow shrug to his words here to signal rejection and a belittling of that idea," Judi explained.
Prince William warned in the interview there was “a rise in climate anxiety” among young people whose “futures are basically threatened the whole time”.
Prince William and Kate Middleton timeline (Image: EXPRESS)
“It’s very unnerving and it’s very, you know, anxiety making,” he added.
The father-of-three challenged adults to “remember how much it meant to be outdoors and what we’re robbing those future generations of”.
William also said his father, Prince Charles, had a “rough ride” when warning about climate change, adding: “It’s been a hard road for him.”
He said Charles “talked about climate change a lot more, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic”.
The Duke added that “it would be an absolute disaster if George is sat here talking” about saving the planet in 30 years' time.
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