Prince George 'so sad' about extinction we had to turn Attenborough off, says William
The Cambridge family meets their hero David Attenborough - PA
Prince George told his father he wanted to turn off Sir David Attenborough's nature documentary because he was so sad about animal extinction, the Duke of Cambridge said when he admitted he had "struggled" to maintain environmental optimism at home.
The Duke said he was concerned about the children's "fear and concern" when they heard of the challenges the planet faces as he launched a new £ 50 million prize looking for "hope".
The Earthshot Prize is designed to counter the necessary "warnings and negativity" in the plight of the planet by looking for solutions to change its fate within a decade.
In a series of interviews to mark the launch of his Earthshot environmental award, the Duke said he was "struggling to maintain optimism" and feared they would soon discover the true state of the planet.
Speaking to British broadcasters, the Duke asked about the importance of optimism and whether he had tried to get it into talks with his family. He replied, "I think, to be completely honest, I am struggling to keep optimism up with my own children and this is really like ... an understanding moment.
"Where you look at yourself and walk, I do enough, are we really at this stage of life when I can't be very optimistic and delighted that my children are so immersed in nature?"
"Because you are worried and afraid, they will soon realize that we are in a very, very dangerous and difficult time in the environment and that you, as a parent, have the feeling that you are abandoning them immediately."
William went on to say that his children were fans of Sir David Attenborough's documentaries From Nature, but the stark reality of one was too much for George.
He said, "The last one - the critically endangered - actually, George and I had to turn it off, we got so sad about it halfway through. He said to me, 'You know I don't want to see this anymore.' .
"Why did it get this far and you know he's seven years old and he's already asking me these questions, he really feels it and I think any seven year old out there can relate to it."
On Radio 4's Today program, the Duke added, "I am psychologically concerned about the fear and concern that many of these younger generations will have when they hear what we are talking about."
"It will burden them and they do not want to inherit a world that will be full of doom and darkness."
Prince William and David Attenborough discuss the Earthshot Prize - PA
When asked about his father and grandfather, who were both passionate about the environment, he said, "I feel it is my responsibility now."
Referring to the Prince of Wales' habit of "hitting", Nick Robinson joked, "I regularly wonder what my dad hits over and I'm sure every son thinks the same" before adding: " He's been talking about it for a while, long and long before people committed to climate change.
"So I always listened and studied and believed in what he said.
"But I knew that 40 years ago it was a very difficult sale to predict and see some of the slow disasters we were headed for."
Now he said, "I think the [only] dotty person now would be the person who doesn't believe in climate change."
The Duke told the program that his children were "jealous" that he was allowed to work with Sir David, and that "before bed, if I can correct the children, I just scream," We're going to watch one of David's documentaries " and they come collect.
"It's the easiest way to catch my kids and get them ready for bedtime."
Speaking to CNN, he added: "My children look up to me and ask me a lot of questions, they love the natural world.
"And they want answers and want to know why there is so much negativity and why everyone is so concerned and how bad it can get?
"I want to turn to them and say," We have solutions, we can find a way. "The human ingenuity, the human spirit and the innovation are enormous. We put a man on the moon, we can do this."
Prince George and his siblings, Princess Charlotte (five) and Prince Louis (two) interviewed 94-year-old Sir David Attenborough in a video filmed at Kensington Palace in August.
Williams' eldest son, to whom Sir David had given a fossilized basking shark tooth a few weeks ago to celebrate his meeting at Kensington Palace, asked him which animal he thought would become extinct next.
The broadcaster said to him: "Let's hope there aren't, because there are a lot of things we can do when animals are threatened with extinction. We can protect them."
Prince William's ambitious Nobshot Earthshot Prize, which has a £ 50 million prize fund, aims to recognize ideas and technology that can protect the planet.
Every year from 2021 through the end of the decade, winners in five categories or Earthshots will each receive £ 1 million.
The Duke will participate in the award campaign from a council of 13 notable public figures who will target diverse audiences around the world, from actress Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira to Queen Rania of Jordan and Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki.
Also included are the Brazilian national soccer captain Dani Alves, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an environmental activist from Chad, and Indra Nooyi, former managing director of PepsiCo.
Billionaire online retailer Jack Ma from China is on the council, as is Yao Ming, a former basketball star, Nigerian-born economist Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.
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