As any head of state or political leader knows only too well, buying a present for a woman who has everything can prove a little difficult. But now the Queen has revealed that she sympathises with dignitaries who have faced this tricky diplomatic conundrum.
In a television interview with Sir David Attenborough she explains how people often opt for the tried and trusted gift of the humble plant, albeit invariably rare and new varieties.
As the veteran naturalist and Queen Elizabeth II stroll through the gardens of Buckingham Palace talking about her plans to create a global network of forests, she says: “I’ve been quite difficult to give presents to, so they’ve said, ‘Oh, let’s give her a plant.'”
However, the pair, both 91, are filmed laughing after spotting a forlorn looking sapling that has keeled over, at odds with the otherwise impeccably kept gardens.
The Queen jokes: “That one we won’t look at. Someone sat on it, I think.”
Discussing a mulberry tree planted in the early 1600s by James I with the aim of attracting silk worms, the Queen says: “They chose the wrong variety and so the silk worms didn’t produce anything, which was a great disappointment to him, I believe.”
The trailer for the ITV programme, called The Queen’s Green Planet, shows the pair discussing her forest project intended to help tackle climate change.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy aims to create a network of forest conservation projects across the 53 Commonwealth countries to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service.
The monarch says she hopes the scheme could “change the climate again”, which Sir David claims would be a “wonderful legacy”.
The documentary also shows Prince Harry planting trees in the Caribbean, and Prince William and his family in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.
Paying tribute to his grandmother’s commitment to environmental causes, Prince Harry says: “I think I’m closing in on my half century of trees planted, but I reckon the Queen is up in the thousands.”
The programme also features the American actress Angelina Jolie, who is filmed working on a conservation scheme she is running with the Namibian government.
In one exert the actress described the Queen as “this lovely lady who cares about the future.”
A spokeswoman for ITV said: “In a rare opportunity to see the Queen talking informally to Sir David, the conversation ranges from climate change, to conkers and birthday gifts.
“In the often humorous exchange, the Queen reveals her passion for nature and how the garden’s history is intertwined with that of her family, charting the lives of her children but also delving into the past of her great-great-grandparents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.”
In the past, the Queen has received many gifts connected to horses during state visits. An exhibition of state gifts last year showed how official gifts from Mongolia, Mexico and Slovenia all had an equestrian theme.
The forest project was originally conceived by Frank Field, the veteran Labour MP. He claimed that repeated attempts to get previous governments to back a conservation project aimed at linking forest projects across the Commonwealth failed.
He said “the Queen jumped at it,” adding how she recognised it had the potential to provide a “new politics” for the Commonwealth.
The Queen’s Green Planet is broadcast on Monday 16 April at 9pm on ITV.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/07/queen-admits-difficult-buy-reveals-people-always-get-plants/