Prince William Plays Journalist at World Economic Forum: 'It’s Nice to Turn the Tables for Once'

Prince William is taking his concern for the environment and mental health to a global stage — and seeing what it’s like to be on the other side of an interview.

The 36-year-old royal is in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, where he took part in a conversation with Sir David Attenborough on Tuesday. William interviewed the 92-year-old English broadcaster and natural historian about his work highlighting the importance of the natural world and the urgent challenges that will face the next generation of environmental leaders.

At the start of the interview, William said: “It’s a personal treat for me to be sitting asking you the questions. It’s nice to turn the tables for once.”

Attenborough, who also narrates the Netflix nature documentary Our Planet, spoke about the importance of protecting the environment, speaking directly to those leaders gathered.


“We can wreck the natural world with ease. We can wreck the natural world without even noticing. But, in doing so, we wreck ourselves,” he said. “I ask this room to care for the natural world.”

Attenborough addd, “There is more power in this room than any gathering anywhere. The people here need to do something about the natural world.”

There were also a few light-hearted moments between the duo. When discussing the nature of filming and working with gases and the elements, the royal dad of three joked: “They’re a bit like children, aren’t they, David? Unpredictable.”

And when they discussed how nature documentaries are filmed and how difficult it can be to get steady shots, Attenborough referenced the royal’s experience as a helicopter pilot: “You’re a pilot. Is it tricky work?” “It can be, David…” William said with a laugh.

Attenborough will also be honored at this year’s Forum as one of the winners of the annual Crystal Award.

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Attenborough has a long history of collaborating with the royal family. Aside from being knighted in 1985, he appeared with Queen Elizabeth in the documentary The Queen’s Green Planet, which highlighted projects throughout the world linked to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project.

William and Attenborough have also crossed paths on several occasions. Most recently, they spoke at the Sept. 2017 premiere of Blue Planet II at the British Film Institute, and the prince presented Attenborough an award for his services to wildlife during the 2016 Tusk Conservation Awards.

On Wednesday, Prince William will join a panel discussion on mental health, highlighting his belief that the world’s major employers have a vital role to play in promoting healthy communities and workplaces. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be among the other participants.

Kate Middleton also stepped out for a royal outing on Tuesday. The royal mom of three visited Family Action Lewisham, which provides support for children and families in South London, to launch “FamilyLine,” a national support line.

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