How green is the Queen?
27 May 2022
By RJ Heron
The Royal family might have a lavish life but that doesn’t stop them from being sustainable; and even the Queen’s Jubilee is an opportunity to go green…
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
This year marks the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, making her the first UK Monarch to reach the milestone of 70 years on the throne.
To mark this momentous occasion she asked that the public plant trees to mark the event through the ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ to benefit future generations.
The Queen has seen the nation through some turbulent times and she understands the value of people pulling together. This philosophy has guided her to live a more considerate life, which she applies to tackling our changing climate.
She is even said to walk around her home at dusk to personally turn off lights unnecessary switched on to ensure energy is not wasted.
A home fit for a Queen
For the majority of the Queen’s life, Buckingham Palace was her home. Over the years her homes have adapted and changed to allow the Queen to live a more sustainable life.
One example is Buckingham Palace gardens. If you were asked to picture these gardens you’d likely think of a neatly mown striped lawn ready for a garden party.
However, many areas of the gardens are carefully designed so that they can provide a home to a variety of animals, insects, and plants, these habitats are in short supply and essential in built-up areas such as the capital.
Inspiringly, across 10% of the land, there is a ‘long grass policy’ to encourage wildflowers to grow to support insects, such as bees.
Talking of bees, Buckingham Palace has had hives of honey bees since 2009, helping to pollinate the gardens and surrounding areas, allowing them to thrive.
Aside from Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s new permanent home in Windsor Castle is powered with 40% renewable energy from two hydroelectric turbines from the nearby River Thames.
Sticking with the energy theme, the royal family also like to keep a keen eye on energy consumption, trialling LED lighting across the estate, with a network of over 60 smart meters installed.
Through embracing more efficient technology and renewable energy as much as possible, the Royal Family’s carbon footprint from energy use had dropped 22% by 2019.
Does the Queen travel sustainably?
Travelling in a way that is considerate to the planet can prove difficult if you are head of state and are forbidden from using public transport. Despite this, the Queen often opts to use the diesel-electric hybrid British Royal train as opposed to private planes and helicopters.
The Queen also has a fleet of efficient hybrid vehicles that help her travel from A to B whilst reducing her carbon footprint. This even includes the hearse Prince Phillip designed for his funeral.
These more efficient and sustainable vehicles don’t only transport the Queen, but also the Palace gardening team, who use an electric van to transport equipment.
What are the Royal Family doing to promote sustainable values?
Below are some examples of how the Royal Family want to inspire the public and encourage sustainable principles to be adopted into our day to day lives.
- Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy – A network of conserved forest areas across all 54 commonwealth nations.
- The Earthshot prize – Five winners have the chance to receive £1 million of funding each year until 2030, to continue to deliver sustainable work.
- Sustainable Markets Council – An initiative with the vision of building a coordinated global effort to enable the private sector to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future.
- Travalyst – Encouraging sustainable travel, through working with leading holiday booking providers.
But you don’t need to be a Royal to start making a difference, make one of our sustainable pledges today and follow the Queen’s example in leading a greener life.