Susan Rockefeller opens up about her 'rock star' friend Prince Charles

The documentary filmmaker has a lifelong passion for the natural world

Her name is synonymous in the business world, but Susan Rockefeller has teamed up with jewellery brand Swarovski for amazing collaboration. In a new interview with HELLO! Magazine, the documentary filmmaker opened up about their lifelong passion for the natural world as invited us into her home she shares with husband David. They were once invited to Clarence House to discuss sustainability, green finance, healthy soils and their work with the Oceana ocean conservation organisation, of which they are directors.

Susan and David Rockefeller at home with their children

"I gave Prince Charles some of my honey," Susan told HELLO! in this week's issue. "I exchanged honey with the future King of England. It was very exciting. He gave us some of his own honey from Clarence House." With a common goal of saving the planet, Susan and Prince Charles had plenty to talk about. "He's such a rock star," Susan told us with a smile. "He's way ahead of his time. We talked about bees and sustainability."

READ: Prince Charles names Katy Perry as new ambassador of his British Asian Trust charity

The climate crisis is at the forefront of the news, but Susan remains hopeful about the future of the planet. "I was born sunny side up," she said. "I'm an optimist. I roll out of bed and I'm so grateful for the day. The world is miraculous and I want everyone to feel the same way."

Susan has teamed up with Atelier Swarovski

This month, Susan has teamed up with Atelier Swarovski to design the Beautiful Earth Collection to help protect the giant panda. Susan, 61, sees jewellery as an important vehicle for change and only designs for those causes she cares about. "It's a dream come true to work with Atelier Swarovski," she said. "Beauty can save the world – you can wear your message, but I believe beauty has to come first. People have to be moved by what they’re seeing and then they want to know the story."

MORE: The surprising royals Prince Charles had tea with at his Highgrove home

"There is such power in women. We look at what each other is wearing. Jewellery can spark a conversation about what’s important." To create her collection of 15 "couture, but playful" pieces, Susan used rose gold plating and Swarovski crystals in blue, green and translucent shades. "I felt like a kid in a candy store – the crystals looked like big jars of M&Ms," she said, adding: "The collection honours the giant panda and the versatility of their food source, bamboo. "Everybody loves the panda. It’s a cute, huggable, wonderful creature. They also indicate where an ecosystem is healthy. But there are only about 1,800 left in the wild."

A percentage of the profits will go towards supporting the Nature Conservancy in China, as well as raising vital awareness for their cause. "They're building corridors of protection so pandas can roam between national parks and can breathe and survive," Susan shared. "If the panda’s habitat is kept alive, this will help hundreds of other bird and animal species thrive."

To read the full interview with Susan, pick up the latest issue of HELLO!, out now.

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