Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles got a chance to show off their green thumbs while planting a tree at Windsor Castle earlier this year.
The royals got their hands dirty planting a small oak outside the palace, where the monarch has been living throughout the pandemic, to kick off a months-long campaign to plant millions of new trees across the United Kingdom. The “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” campaign is being run by the Queen’s Green Canopy in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, or “Tree-bilee” as Charles puts in a video promoting the initiative, calling it a “profoundly symbolic act.” He adds that planting a tree “is a statement of hope and faith in the future. Whether you are an individual hoping to plan a single sapling in your garden, school or community group planting a tree, a Council, charity or business intending to plant a whole avenue of trees, everyone can get involved.” He also points out that, during her reign, the Queen has planted over 1,500 trees all over the world while visiting on official duties.
The Queen’s Green Canopy also has a handful of other ecologically-minded enterprises its working on in the lead up to 2022’s Platinum Jubilee, including showcasing 70 irreplaceable ancient woodlands throughout the U.K. and identifying 70 ancient trees in honor of the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. It will also start a pilot training program through Capel Manor College, London’s only specialist environmental college, for unemployed people between 16 and 24 years old to plant and manage trees. And, starting in October, people will be able to upload all of their various planting projects onto an interactive map to inspire others.
And that’s apparently not the only big plan Charles has for changing the face of green spaces in England. According to The Sunday Times of London, the future king is planning on opening up several royal residences to the public once he ascends to the throne. “The prince wants to bring people in to connect with the institution. He recognizes it needs to keep evolving, and in the modern era people want to be able to access their palaces,” a royal source told the outlet. “He embraces that and sees them as public places more than private spaces.” Places such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral, Sandringham, and Clarence House will all remain royal homes, but their grounds will also become more accessible to visitors. This is a logical evolution of the Queen’s annual tradition of opening up the grounds of Buckingham Palace to the public for three months every summer and, for the first time ever this year, allowing people to picnic on the lawns.
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— An Intimate View of a Young Queen Elizabeth II
— The Sacklers Launched OxyContin. Everyone Knows It Now.
— Exclusive Excerpt: An Icy Death at the Bottom of the World
— Lolita, Blake Bailey, and Me
— Kate Middleton and the Future of the Monarchy
— The Occasional Terror of Dating in the Digital Age
— The 13 Best Face Oils for Healthy, Balanced Skin
— From the Archive: Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”
— Sign up for the “Royal Watch” newsletter to receive all the chatter from Kensington Palace and beyond.