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Prince of Wales speaks of 'great pride' in sons at launch of new Attenborough series Our Planet

The Prince Of Wales has said he has "great pride" to see his two sons are following in his footsteps by embracing environmental issues.

Speaking at the premiere of Sir David Attenborough's new series, Our Planet, the heir reaffirmed his message action is needed to protect Earth's climate, species and resources. He said: "I must say it has given me great pride to see how both my sons have in different ways have taken up the cause of restoring the balance of nature.

"When they were much younger I never thought they were paying attention to anything I said, at all. Or did.

"But when I turned 70 last year, I discovered to my absolute astonishment that they had."

The Prince of Wales also paid a “much-awaited” tribute to veteran TV presenter Attenborough at the event at London's Natural History Museum in London.

Prince Charles speaks to David Beckham at the launch of the series. Credit: PA

Charles has long been a campaigner for environmental issues, so he seems a natural choice to speak at this evening's event. His speech, given from under a blue whale skeleton in the museum’s Hintze Hall, went on to add: "I’m enormously touched to have been asked here this evening, along with both my sons, to launch this really remarkable series.

“It is also a much-awaited opportunity to pay tribute to and thank Sir David Attenborough for all he has done over so many years to bring the wonder, the fascination, and increasingly the desperate plight, of the natural world to our attention.

Sir David hosted the event at the Natural History Museum attended by members of the Royal family. Credit: John Sibley/PA

“Above all, he has done so much to lift the veil of ignorance from our eyes about the intricate and integrated beauty of our home.

He warned of the impact of environmental destruction at the screening event, saying: “Climate change is now a very real existential threat. The greatest crime of all is that we knew what we were doing.

“Informed consent being the basis of democracy… informed destruction is the basis for catastrophe.”

Charles added: “We have no choice but to be the change we need, for there is nobody else.”

Prince William was pictured speaking to David Beckham at the event. Credit: PA

Among the other guests at the event was Premier League footballer Aaron Ramsey.

William chatted to the Arsenal player, his wife Colleen and Colin Butfield of WWF-UK, who said the prince spoke of “the hopes he had that this message will carry on”.

Ramsey praised William, telling the Press Association: “I met him at the FA Cup finals, but that’s the first time I’ve had a conversation with him.”

He praised the royals for their environmental support, adding: “It’s brilliant. To have the royals behind it is fantastic backing. They do really lead by example. It’s perfect for us”