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LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II appeared to criticize the lack of global action on climate change in comments over the microphone.

The 95-year-old monarch was caught on phone as she traveled to Cardiff to open the Welsh parliament on Thursday.

At one point, addressing her daughter-in-law Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Speaker of Parliament Elin Jones, she said: “I’ve heard about COP… I still don’t know who’s coming. “

On the recording, parts of which are inaudible, the Queen also seems to say it’s “irritating” when “they talk, but they don’t”.

The Queen is due to welcome leaders from around the world to COP26, a United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, later this month. Several heads of state or government, including China’s Xi Jinping, have not indicated whether they will participate.

A government minister, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said the Queen’s comments were not intended for airing.

“I think comments made in private should be kept private, but we all share the desire to see progress and we know there will be hundreds of leaders who will come to Glasgow for the COP,” he said. told Sky News.

In a constitutional monarchy, the Queen is supposed to be above politics and she rarely expresses her opinions in public.

Her son and heir, Prince Charles, however, has long been outspoken on environmental issues. And Charles’s son Prince William has also joined the cause, supporting the Earthshot Prize for Environmental Innovation which will be awarded on Sunday.

In an interview with the BBC that aired Thursday, William criticized space tourism, saying the world’s greatest minds should instead focus on fixing the Earth.

His comments aired a day after 90-year-old “Star Trek” actor William Shatner became the oldest person to fly in space, in a rocket funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

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