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King Charles will not attend the COP27 climate summit


The Palace said the advice not to attend the Climate Change COP27 conference had been sought by the King and given by Truss.


Buckingham Place has confirmed that King Charles will not attend the climate change conference COP27, which is to be held in Egypt next month.

While responding to a story in the Sunday Times which claimed Prime Minister Liz Truss had ordered the King not to attend.

The Palace said advice had been sought by the King and given by Ms. Truss.

“With mutual friendship and respect there was agreement that the King would not attend,” the Palace stated.

Before his ascension to the throne last month, the King who was the Prince of Wales had noted that he would attend the annual conference.

King Charles at the UN headquarters during COP26 Summit

Royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said the BBC had put it to the Palace that the King must be personally disappointed given his long decades of passionate environmental campaigning.

But the Palace responded that the idea the King was uncomfortable was not the case, and he was ever mindful of the sovereign’s role to act on the government’s advice.

Last November Prince Charles, who is now the King traveled to Egypt with the previous government’s blessing to urge the Egyptian administration on its efforts, meeting President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during a planned visit.

In the past, the King has demonstrated his deep commitment to environmental issues and, as Prince of Wales, had a long history of campaigning to reduce the effects of climate change.

Last year, Charles made a speech at the COP26 opening ceremony in Glasgow, when the summit was hosted by the UK.
The late Queen also gave a speech at the event, via video link.

Senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood said he hoped common sense would prevail and the King would be allowed to go to Egypt.

He tweeted that King Charles was a globally respected voice on the environment whose attendance would add serious authority to the British delegation.

At last year’s COP26 conference, King Charles (Prince Charles as he was then) was one of the star turns, delivering a passionate call for world leaders to adopt a war-like footing over climate change.

This year he’ll have to be calm and expect possible problems after what’s presented, on the surface at least, as a dispute-free agreement that he shouldn’t go.

Although it’s worth noting this is about not attending in person which might leave the door ajar for other virtual contributions.

Inevitable speculation that is below all the constitutional smoothing, notes that this will have disappointed the King.

He has campaigned devotedly for decades, heart on sleeve, on such environmental issues.

And it could also raise the prospect of early tensions between a new King and a new PM.

But it’s a case of different roles, and different rules and the King has always known that as sovereign he would have to act within a different set of politically-neutral constraints.

Conservative Cabinet minister Simon Clarke said the decision for the King not to attend had been made amicably, as far as he is aware.

“The suggestions this morning that the King was ordered to stay away are simply not true,” he told Times Radio.

“It is the normal course of matters that this would be handled by the government rather than by the monarchy.”

The Egyptian authorities say they hope to use their presidency of COP27 to urge the international community to act on pledges of support for developing countries to cope with the devastating impacts of climate change.

However, there has been criticism ahead of the summit. Human Rights Watch has said Egypt has severely curtailed the work of environmental groups, something that the officials in Cairo said was misleading.

COP27, a United Nations event, is being held in the coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh from 8 to16 November.

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Next week, King Charles will attend his first public engagements since the royal period of mourning ended, including a reception in Edinburgh for South Asian communities from across the UK and a visit to Dunfermline Abbey in Fife.


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