Royals go green: Which members of the Royal Family are living sustainably? - And how you can too

Royals go green - but what are they doing to live more sustainably?

Royals go green: The Royal Family Attend Church On Christmas Day
(Image credit: Stephen Pond / Stringer)

As royals go green in a bid to live a life that is less impactful on the environment - from nifty electric cars to eco-activism and sustainable wardrobes, we look at which of our royals are leading the movement and how we can emulate their efforts in our own lives...

The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton is famed for always looking classy and fashionable. In the words of one Guardian fashion editor, “her clothes show respect, bring an emotional warmth that strengthens historic and strategic bonds, and send a positive message about the country and family she represents.” Ever since marrying into the royal family, she has presented herself with true grace, and now she is using her coveted wardrobe to champion sustainable fashion brands.

Aside from choosing affordable high street brands, Kate’s high-end designer choices always favour the sustainable, and she is often seeing looking fabulous in Alexander McQueen and Temperley London garments. However, she has also been seen wearing lesser-known sustainable brands such as Faithful and Beulah. The latter of the two is a brand that sets out to fight modern slavery and empower vulnerable women. 

Not only does Duchess Kate use her influence to champion sustainable brands, but she also doesn’t shy away from revisiting her wardrobe at Kensington Palace and re-wearing garments that she has already been seen in. This may seem normal to most of us, but for a royal, outfit repeating is a powerful statement! 

Earlier this year she wore a red Catherine Walker Coat with velvet detailing that she also donned at Christmas Day services in 2018.

Considering the fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter after the oil industry, boosting the popularity of sustainable fashion could not be more important. The Duchess of Cambridge’s choices encourage the rest of us to choose investment pieces over fast fashion, whether that be reducing our waste by investing in a luxury Fulton umbrella like the royals, re-styling an old dress rather than buying one new, or shopping at pioneering sustainable brands.  

The Prince of Wales

Over the years, even in lockdown, Prince Charles has regularly been involved with community initiatives and scientific bodies as well as developing his own sustainability projects. Each of his projects has focussed on remedying environmental damage and finding sustainable ways to save the planet’s natural resources. 

His projects include the Prince’s Rainforest Project, Accounting for Sustainability, the International Sustainability Unit, and Project Start. On top of this, Prince Charles has been involved with planning homes in communities with an environmental focus, while updating his own homes and cars to make sure that they are more eco-friendly (such as the solar panels installed in Clarence House)

Prince Charles was also the first member of the royal family to opt for an electric car, a Jaguar I-PACE to be precise. Not only did this purchase make his journeys much greener, but it set a precedent both for the general public and the other royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex soon followed his lead in 2019 before quitting the UK to make Santa Barbara their home earlier this year.

Queen Elizabeth II 

Each member of the royal family seems to have chosen their own area of sustainability to champion. For Queen Elizabeth II, that area is forests. After the launch of the Queens Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) in 2015, all 53 countries in the Commonwealth family have united together in a pledge to help save some of the planet’s most precious natural habitats. 

The result was the launch of a network of forest conservation projects, helping to conserve indigenous forests for generations to come. The QCC prioritises five key objectives: 

  • To raise awareness of the value of indigenous forests 
  • To create a chain of forest conservation projects that unite commonwealth countries 
  • To demonstrate the Commonwealth’s capacity to promote change in our forests 
  • To facilitate knowledge about what the best strategy is to achieve forest conservation 
  • To create a lasting legacy of the Queen’s leadership of the Commonwealth 

In recent news, it was announced that Bermuda has now joined the QCC. As of March 2020, Bermuda chose to contribute towards the incredible biodiversity that the Walsingham Nature Reserve QCC project strives to accomplish.

And you can sign up to Plant A Tree with the National Trust to help create green spaces for everyone.

From involvement in charities to eco-tourism, it’s clear that sustainability is more important to the royal family than ever before. 

With more and more high-profile, influential people putting the wellbeing of our planet at the top of their priorities, the future looks brighter and far more sustainable!  

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life.

Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. Having spent the start of her career working on local newspapers and online, Selina spent six years as Acting News Editor and Entertainment Reporter at the Scunthorpe Telegraph where she dug into hard news stories, conducted interviews, covered court reporting, features, and entertainment, whilst going to gigs in her spare time.

Whilst at the paper she was awarded an O2 Media Judges' Special Award for helping a terminally ill cancer sufferer realise his dying wish and marry his childhood sweetheart through a successful newspaper campaign. Things like this are close to her heart when it comes to using journalism to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Selina later branched further into all things celebrity to became a Showbiz Writer at Heat magazine, covering red carpet events, showbiz parties, and various launches before going freelance for two years. One of her biggest celebrity achievements - aside from generating celebrity exclusives - was interviewing Take That (including Robbie Williams) and bumping into Simon Cowell so much at events she told him 'I'm calling you my showbiz dad!'

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a senior reporter on Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, Woman's Weekly celebrity desk before branching online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first.

When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.