Are Environmental Issues More Important to Prince Harry Now That He’s a Dad? How the Queen Inspired Him

Is Prince Harry interested in environmental issues and conservation because he’s a new dad? That’s a theory that conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall had when she met with Harry for her Roots & Shoots Global Leadership Meeting at St. George’s House. In part, Prince Harry wants to make the world a better place for baby Archie, but his grandmother, the Queen, has also inspired him to take action.

Prince Harry environmental issues
Prince Harry | Kirsty Wigglesworth – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Archie has inspired Prince Harry

Dr. Goodall and Prince Harry were on hand for her annual meeting and she remarked how the Duke of Sussex likely has a greater interest in the environment since having a baby.

She shared with reporters: “We talked about Roots and Shoots and I said, ‘Of course you’re interested now, you have a baby,’ and he said, ‘Of course!’”

She added, “When you bring a child into the world, you have to worry about the future. If we don’t make change, we don’t have a future. It’s as simple as that.”

Prince Harry has also been inspired by the Queen

In a speech at the meeting, Prince Harry spoke about how his grandmother provided inspiration in his fight to protect the environment.

He shared: “As my grandmother the Queen once said, ‘sometimes the world’s problems are so big we think we can do little to help.’”

Prince Harry continued: “On our own we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.”

He had huge praise for Goodall, his wife’s ‘idol’

During the event, Prince Harry also praised Goodall in his speech, sharing: “I met Jane last year, and my affirmation was probably similar to how you all felt this week when you met her for the first time. That she is a woman of kindness, warmth, immense knowledge and a softness that’s needed by mankind just as much as it is chimpkind.”

He continued: “I’ve been admiring her work since I was a kid and it was so wonderful to find that she was even more amazing in person. She even treated me to a chimp welcome which only Jane can do! Well, and chimps!”

Prince Harry added: “We also had the opportunity to discuss our shared belief that conservation and community engagement go hand-in-hand. I truly believe that the heart of conservation and sustainability is about people. For any of our efforts to succeed, an inclusive, community-centered approach where they benefit from safeguarding their natural assets, is what works; and we have seen that proven time and time again, but sadly not to scale quite yet.”

When Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, first met Goodall, she was overwhelmed, as the conservationist shared: “She told me she’s followed me all her life. She told me, ‘You’ve been my idol since I was a child. I’ve hero worshipped you all my life.’”

Goodall also got the chance to meet and cuddle with the couple’s baby, who she described as “very cute and very gentle.”