King Charles III Nixes Trip To Environmental Conference in Egypt

King Charles III will not attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt next month, as per the Associated Press. While his attendance was never confirmed, he did attend last year’s summit in Glasgow, Scotland, and gave the opening speech at the 2015 meeting in Paris. The Guardian reported that he was invited to return this year. Having now ascended to the British throne, however, Charles’s travel, particularly to events that could be construed as political, is more limited. “Heavy is the head that wears the crown,” as Shakespeare famously didn’t write. 

British news outlets have reported that new Prime Minister Liz Truss objected to his attendance at the conference when the two met at Buckingham Palace. Naturally, unnamed sources close to the King have denied that there is any sort of disagreement. 

British law prevents the King from engaging in anything deemed political, and overseas visits are worked on in accordance with advice from the government. In other words, the King needs a hall pass. 

As Prince, Charles was well-regarded as an advocate for environmentalist causes. Among other actions, he initiated The Prince’s May Day Network, which encourages businesses to take action against climate change. In 2020 he launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which is committed to linking economic growth to environmental sustainability. He also famously talks to plants. 

Charles apparently pumping the breaks on his environmental activism confirms the worry of many climate journalists. National Geographic published a lengthy “what happens now?” piece just a few weeks after Queen Elizabeth’s death. (It also traces Charles’s involvement with conservation causes back to 1968, featuring some striking photos.)

Earlier in the month, the BBC reported that the King’s “friends and advisers say he will not cool on the issue of global warming.” But as the National Geographic piece pointed out, the new King has long been well-aware of changes coming his way. “Clearly I won’t be able to do the same things I’ve done as heir. So, of course, you operate within the constitutional parameters. But it’s a different function. I think people have forgotten that the two are very different,” he said in a  2018 interview. 

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