Prince William’s documentary was just about him declaring his keenness, right?

The Duke of Cambridge hosts an outdoor screening of the Heads Up FA Cup final on the Sandringham Estate. William with Ronesh Ranganathan.   1.8.2020

Prince William: A Planet For Us All aired on ITV this week. I’m still not over the title, honestly. It makes it sound like William is a planet for us all. That is not the case! He is only a planet for roses. When I covered the advance promotion for the documentary, I mentioned that the energy around it had the feel of busywork for William – he allowed cameras to follow him around (selectively) as he staged various environmentally-themed scenes, including kayaking for coronavirus or something. Once William gets the spotlight all to himself, with no Harry, no Meghan, no Kate to steal his thunder, the result is that it becomes more and more obvious that there’s no there there. All bluster and rage and tantrums, signifying nothing. I did want to highlight a few pieces I found interesting though:

No mention of hunting, huh: From I News, “Some unsaid aspects of this documentary – filmed over two years as William visited various environmental and conservation projects and held an international summit on the illegal wildlife trade – did rankle. That the Prince is a keen hunter does not necessarily negate any of his campaign work, but it does seem odd not to mention it at all in a documentary like this, given that you could argue that royal hunting glamorises the sport, potentially contributing to its illegal incarnations. That he has defended trophy hunting in some circumstances in the past is even harder to square.

Willileaks’ Vow: Prince William has vowed to follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps and become a conservationist, with a focus on saving endangered wildlife and protecting the planet for the sake of his children and the next generation. The future king revealed that fatherhood has made him “change his outlook” with regards to the environment and climate change. And like Charles, who has paved the way in shining the spotlight on environmental issues, one of the duke’s key missions is to protect the planet for the sake of the next generation.

Will’s “duty”: The Duke says he feels it is his “duty” to leave the planet in a stronger position for future generations. “My grandfather and my father have been in environmental work for many years,” William says. “My grandfather’s well ahead of his time. My father, ahead of his time. And I really want to make sure that, in 20 years, George doesn’t turn round and say, ‘Are you ahead of your time?’ Because if he does, we’re too late.”

What?? While William has always been a passionate conservationist, he is now playing a more central and public role in working to save endangered animals and highlight the effect of climate change. Last year he established the Earth Shot prize, which he hopes will become his legacy. “Someone has to put their head above the parapet and say, I care about this, to have the belief that if we all work together, we can make a difference.”

[From Vanity Fair & I News]

“Someone has to put their head above the parapet and say, I care about this…” William’s big moment and all he has to say is “someone has to be brave enough to say they’re keen! I AM THAT SOMEONE!” That really is all it amounts to – William once again is not interested in doing the work or making something permanent. All he wants is to coast, to simply hope that vague keenness will get him through these pre-King years. It doesn’t even really sound like the documentary had an overriding message other than “you too can be keen about the environment.” This was some palace lackey’s idea of a safe issue for the future king. And the whole idea that William could be “ahead of his time” about ANYTHING is laughable. He and his wife are practically Victorians.

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speak to people looking for work at the London Bridge Jobcentre, in London

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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32 Responses to “Prince William’s documentary was just about him declaring his keenness, right?”

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  1. Elizabeth Regina says:

    Poor do nothing prince. He stands for nothing therefore he falls for everything. The documentary had no substance and will of course make no impact. I almost feel sorry for him in a way. Everything he touches flops because his energy is misdirected into propping up his image and one up man ship and he simply does not have the heart for service. His empty plane stunt was one of his worst cunty moves and that made a lot of fair minded people look at him in a different light.

  2. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    It always feels like William’s nervous and trying to hide something by going overboard in proving how amazing he is. I feel like these are pathetic attempts to one-up Harry within a royal context. It feels like he’s constantly trying to compete. Come to think of it, I would have more respect for him if he weren’t so in our faces and actually stayed in his lane and picked a cause he was sincere about. It feels like this became an obsession again once Harry’s Netflix deal went through.

    What I find incredulous is that Sir Geidt is correct and Charles and William know it: Having 3 press houses for the UK royal family is an absolute disaster and their refusal to fix it is why The Sussexes were bullied out and left and why the House of Hanover/Windsor is done for. No other royal house in Europe or even Asia has multiple PR secretaries working for the first 3 in line.

    • FicklePickle says:

      Yeah, it does seem like he was the only one that understood that ANY negativity directed towards ANY one member of the BRF inevitably turns into negativity directed towards the BRF IN GENERAL. Publicly sniping at each other in the press to prop up themselves alone will be the House of Windsor’s downfall.

  3. Becks1 says:

    So what is he doing that’s so ahead of his time? I know Earthshot supposedly “launches” tomorrow (or we get more information about it or something), but what else is he doing? It just seems to be a lot of talk about “making a difference” and “i’m so brave to talk about this” but…..what next? Maybe Earthshot will be better than we are thinking?

    • lanne says:

      As good as “Broken Britian” and “the 5 questions survey”, likely. Where’s the money for this prize coming from anyway?

    • Amy Too says:

      I don’t get how Earthshot is a good candidate for being his big legacy project. It’s just him giving reward money to other people who do good work for the environment. He himself doesn’t actually have to do anything. His father has multiple legacies, all of which involved him working on something, building something, doing something himself. The Dumfries House (I think it’s called) restoration had a tangible result, an historical house was saved. Converting all of the Duchy gardens and lawns and products they produce to organic and sustainable also has a tangible, lasting result. The Prince’s Trust is something he built from the ground up and it does its own charity work that has lasting tangible results.

      An awards show that hands out prizes and money for completed projects that someone else already did is hardly building something. It’s not a legacy. He doesn’t have to DO anything for it. He’s not the one making a difference. He’s not the one identifying a problem and solving it.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        Amy he wants it to be like the Nobel prizes that the Swedish and Norwegian royals present. He created this idea of finding solutions to the worlds environmental problem when all along millions of people are doing just that very thing without William’s intervention.

      • blue36 says:

        It’s funny how they are claiming it to be the most prestigious award and that nothing like this exists? Didn’t Jeff Bezos start some environmental fund?

      • windyriver says:

        Slightly off your original point, but just want to mention that Dumfries House is an amazing, multilevel project, that not only saved a historic house, extremely significant furniture collection, and historic garden, but also focused on benefits to the surrounding area. In addition to functioning as a tourist attraction and as an event center (e.g., weddings), there are multiple types of job training programs, educational programs for local children, and in 2019 a Health and Wellness center (also including meditation and yoga!) was opened. William can only hope that anything he accomplishes in his life has as much impact as this one project.

  4. Kalana says:

    I wonder where the money came from for this documentary and whether they made it all back when ITV agreed to buy it.

    Promotion for this documentary should have been Instagram posts and tweets of William with people who are doing the work so we can know their names without needing to watch something broadcast on a British network. Surely, if you’re taking a global approach, there should be global marketing or is it a British person lecturing the planet?

    And I will keep banging this drum. What has British Prince William done for the British environment including his hugely wasteful homes and travel methods?

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      I doubt it was expensive to make. This strikes me as William bringing a camera along on his many vacations and saying we must save the environment.

      • TaraBest says:

        That’s exactly what it feels like. I tried to watch this promo but it was honestly too boring to get through! There doesn’t seem to be a clear message other than, watch PW look at things and make vague statements about “the environment”. How boring.

    • tolly says:

      This website is the only reason why I know that Wills’ documentary is different from Attenborough’s Netflix one. Trying to latch onto the promotion for a much more successful project was lazy (of course) and self-defeating.

  5. Harla says:

    “Someone has to put their head above the parapet and say, I care about this…” which is exactly what his father has been doing for 40+ years. I’m old enough to recall how horrible the press was to Charles for his stand on environmental causes, causes which today are in the forefront. William is not the person to put his head above the parapet for any reason as he does not have the courage to face the criticism that comes with the territory.

    • LittlePenguin says:

      His Dad wrote a damn book on how to be an environmentalist before it was cool. Why not thank him for paving the way right? He had the opportunity to work with the organic farm and he could have worked with Charles to take it up a level. But he didn’t and he won’t. This is just Willnot needing some attention.

    • Sarah says:

      This really rankles, he is jumping on a bandwagon that many others have been shouting about for years, including his father (who as you say was roundly derided for his stance). His PR and loyal media can try and spin this as much as they want, but we have eyes William.

    • Waitwhat? says:

      The media used to really take the mick out of Prince Charles and his interest in the environment – I also remember it. They used to make jokes about how he talked to plants and was into all this quantum woo stuff, when in fact he was mostly interested in organic farming (okay, and homeopathy).

  6. OriginalLala says:

    Trophy hunting and wasting resources (hello private helicopter!) do not a conservationist make.

  7. RoyalBlue says:

    Anyone who is crass enough to pull the FlyBe plane stunt does not deserve to head any such project.

  8. A says:

    Kate sounds the same in every video, always saying something completely obvious in a gibberish way “It’s….., isn’t it!?” then the other person has to agree with “Exactly” which makes it sound as if she said something profound when really it was boring and bewildering. Then she says something to William, laughing and touching his back or arm. Every single time.

  9. Digital Unicorn says:

    Now we know why he was so filled with ‘rage’ over the Sussex’s Netflix deal – this looks cut price in comparison. They are both so bad in front of a camera – both are awkward AF.

    As for Kate in her Indiana Jones cosplay earrings!!!! JFC, the look so out of place with the rest of her outfit – guess she was channelling her inner fan girl of that famous opening scene. Wonder who ‘gifted’ her those pair of shiny gold bling blings.

    • equality says:

      Harry and Meghan’s documentary about Africa (for all the BM whining about the trip being ruined) was picked up by a major network in the US. This doesn’t appear to be happening with Will’s documentary.

  10. Merricat says:

    I resent the implication that no one else in the world cares about the environment but the house of Windsor–sticking one’s head above the parapet, oh please. Saving the planet is only controversial/brave if you’re making money from exploiting it. Ahem.

    • equality says:

      Exactly. I didn’t watch it since it didn’t air in the US but I gather from social media comments that it was just a “look what Will has done” thing. His followers on Twitter were praising him because there was a scene where he spoke out against the ivory trade and acting like he personally influenced China to make laws against it. The Chinese ban had been pushed by Xi Jinping in agreements with the US and UK and possibly other countries. Not to mention that Harry and Charles had also been involved in campaigning. Apparently, nobody else’s influence was mentioned in the documentary. He also bragged about the United 4 Wildlife charity that’s under the royal foundation. At the time it was formed, Harry was also part of it and apparently got no mention in Will’s documentary. It also sounded like he used frequent mention of his children and even a few pictures of them for good PR. It was also the “light” version of environmentalism. By other comments, I gather, there was no mention of fossil fuels effect on the environment. For the most part it sounds like piggybacking on Charles’ and other people’s work.

  11. bluemoonhorse says:

    The rich is who contribute to Climate Change, not us poor slobs. So until they stop taking private planes, I don’t give a rat’s ass what the BRF has to say about it.

  12. Lemons says:

    I hope someone in the palace is looking at critical comments and building a better game plane for PWT.

    If you’re intelligent, Prince William should not be the centerpiece of a documentary about the environment. He is not an expert, has never sought out a degree on the subject, has not made significant contributions, etc.

    That doesn’t mean he can’t do a documentary, but it’s best to have him take a backseat and interview the experts. We’ve seen enough documentaries about how the planet has changed. Give us footage of the solutions. After all, that is what Earthshot is about.

    This is why H&M are so successful. They realize that they are not experts in all things and are always prepared to take the backseat, knowing that just their name/presence will bring the attention that is needed to the issue which they are STILL knowledgeable in.

    Unfortunately, PWT wants to be in front of the camera with the beautiful landscapes behind him, talking about nothing that we don’t already know.

    His PR efforts were more successful towards Attenborough’s documentary than his own copycat film.

    • Waitwhat? says:

      I only watched the first couple of minutes of the promo (it was pretty boring) but as he’s standing at the edge of Granny’s estate at Sandringham, he says, “Listen – you can hear the ducks and geese and the other birds…” and a bit later, “this land was reclaimed many years ago”. Dude, at least memorise a few names of birds and tell us, you know, if they’re endangered, or unique to the area, or whatever. Tell us when the land was reclaimed and why. Don’t just stand there and say obvious stuff, “If the sea levels rise, all this will be covered.” You’re not making a documentary for elementary school kids (who quite possibly know more about the environment than you do).

  13. Wiglet Watcher says:

    All he does is talk 1 way and act another. He’ll give up on this pledge to work and care just like all the others
    He loves environmental themes, but he’s been doing this for over a decade. When do we see results? Or even a plan to get results? Or even a farm on a smaller scale for his kids? Or even the slightest bit of passion for anything other than himself or his banging the neighbors?

  14. Silverdragon says:

    “Last year he established the Earth Shot prize, which he hopes will become his legacy.”
    And that is his “work”. Someone (William? His PR?) had the idea for this prize and he went with it, because, let’s face it: organezing this is someone else. He will be at the formal event, can have his pics taken and looks “woke” and “working”.
    And the icing on the cake for him is the legacy part, so someone in 30 or 40 years can mention that HE invented it without him doing any work for it whatsoever.

  15. Edna says:

    So performative and yet boring at the same time. Wonder what the ratings were on this documentary? How many people actually watched it and how was it received?

  16. Sarah says:

    I live in the UK and I have only heard anything about this documentary on this site.

  17. equality says:

    The problem isn’t that Will hunts, it is that the grouse hunting in the UK exploits endangered species the same as the poaching and ivory trade he speaks out against. The grouse estates are managed to the detriment of other species. Endangered predators are often killed to increase numbers of grouse. It has been an issue in the UK for some time now. He is doing what he did when he criticized Africans for having too many children when he was having a third; ignoring what goes on in his own country.