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Prince William expresses fears for his children's future

The Duke of Cambridge speaks about how fatherhood has changed him in the new film

william climate change
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Duke of Cambridge has called on humanity to "speed the pace up" and tackle the growing environmental threat to the planet.

Speaking in an upcoming ITV documentary, Prince William: A Planet For Us All, the Duke appeared to express his fears about being branded "ahead of his time" about environmental issues in future, as he urged people to "get on top of it" and "be more vocal and more educational about what's going on."

In the film, which is due to air on Monday 5 October, Prince William pays tribute to his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh and father the Prince of Wales for their work supporting the natural world.

READ: Prince William and Sir David Attenborough spark reaction with mistake in new photos

WATCH: William makes rare comments about fatherhood in new ITV documentary

He says: "My grandfather, my father, have been in environmental work for many years. My grandfather's well ahead of his time. My father, ahead of his time."

William adds: "And I really want to make sure that, in 20 years, George doesn't turn round and say, ‘are you ahead of your time?’ Because if he does, we’re too late."

In a clip released last week, the Duke shared that he has "always loved nature" but said that fatherhood has given him a "new sense of purpose".

cambridges clapping norfolk© Photo: Getty Images

William is father to George, Charlotte and Louis

"Now I have got George, Charlotte and now Louis in my life – your outlook does change. You want to hand over to the next generation, the wildlife in a much better condition," the Prince remarked.

"I always believe it is possible to give young people hope and belief that things can get fixed. I have the belief that if we all work together, we can make a difference."

William has been filmed over the past two years in the UK and countries such as Pakistan and Tanzania for the ITV documentary Prince William: A Planet For Us All, which charts his journey from passionate conservationist to wanting to play a greater global leadership role on the environment.

william kate hindu kush© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate at the Hindu Kush mountains in Pakistan 

The documentary captures the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they are shown the effects of global warming at the Hindu Kush mountains, where glaciers are melting at record speed, during their royal tour of Pakistan in October 2019.

Kate says: "Everyone's asking all of us to protect the environment and what comes first is actually just to care about it in the first place. And you’re not necessarily going to care about it if you don’t know about it and that’s why we thought it was so important to come here."

William adds: "It's a huge environmental and humanitarian disaster. And yet, we still don't seem to be picking up the pace and understanding it quick enough. 

"And I think the young are really getting it. And the younger generation are really wanting more and more people to do stuff and want more action.

"And we've got to speed the pace up. We’ve got to get on top of it and we need to be more vocal and more educational about what's going on."

david cambridges© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate with Sir David Attenborough in Birkenhead

The film also includes William and Kate's meeting with Sir David Attenborough in Birkenhead in October 2019, where the Duchess revealed that their three children were "massive fans" of the natural historian.  

The Duke tells the broadcaster: "Every generation, you know, after yours, David, has grown up listening and seeing all the things that you've shown them. And, hopefully, each generation listens a little bit more."

Sir David shares his optimism, saying: "The public is becoming extraordinarily well informed it seems to me. Kids know an awful lot now about ecology and what's happening with the world. It's remarkable."

MORE: Prince George and Princess Charlotte's 'charming' conversation with Sir David Attenborough revealed

MORE: Princess Eugenie's baby will share a special bond with the Cambridges

cambridges david attenborough© The Duchess of Cambridge

A starstruck George, Charlotte and Louis meet Sir David

Over the weekend, Kensington Palace released some adorable photos of the moment Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis met their idol Sir David.

At the end of the programme, William says he believes that 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic have given people a chance to "take stock" of what is important.

He says: "I've been really heartened by what I've been hearing from other people and how they've decided to appreciate nature and experience it and see all the things that they never thought they would.

"Someone has to put their head above the parapet and say, I care about this. To have the belief that if we all work together, we can make a difference."

Prince William: A Planet For Us All will be screened on ITV at 9pm on Monday 5 October.

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