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Sir Trevor McDonald: We are fortunate to have eco-aware Charles on the throne

Sir Trevor McDonald (Ian West/PA)
Sir Trevor McDonald (Ian West/PA)

Sir Trevor McDonald has said it is a “matter of great good fortune” to have a King on the throne who has “led the conversation” about the planet and has a “deep understanding” of all the issues involved.

King Charles III was formally declared head of state during a historic meeting of the Accession Council attended by privy counsellors at St James’s Palace in London on Saturday, which was televised for the first time.

Presenter Sir Trevor, 83, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “In a way, we are terribly fortunate at this time to have someone who took part in a conversation that is now universally recognised as very important about the planet in which we all live.

“We know there is a King on the throne who has led this conversation, who has a deep understanding of all the issues involved and I think that is a matter of great good fortune for our country and for the Commonwealth.”

King Charles III during the Accession Council at St James’s Palace, London
King Charles III during the Accession Council at St James’s Palace, London (Victoria Jones/PA)

In 2006, Sir Trevor interviewed Charles for a documentary titled The Prince Of Wales: Up Close to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Prince’s Trust.

He said: “I was fortunate enough to do a documentary about him and his duties in the family and he said ‘You know I am probably a little misrepresented at times.’

“What I remember about it is he said ‘What people don’t understand is that I have a profound love for this country and I would do my duty’ and that is what we have seen in glorious colour. He will be a great King.

“I think his profound love and respect for the job, and respect of what his mother Queen Elizabeth did, will guide him through.

“He will take a very practical approach to some of these problems and he will be the great encourager, he will want to talk to people involved.”

The broadcaster said Charles’s speech made on Friday was “absolutely brilliant” and it was “particularly poignant” when referencing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“The emphasis on continuity, the smooth transition that was made. He hit all the right notes and he did exactly what was expected of him as the new King. Amazing,” he said.

Sir Trevor also said he was always fascinated by the Queen’s “devotion and attachment” to the Commonwealth.

The Queen’s Trust reception
The Queen with Sir Trevor McDonald, a trustee of The Queen’s Trust (Victoria Jones/PA)

He said: “I did one documentary where we went around the world asking the prime ministers what does she actually do at these conferences, why do you think it’s important.

“There was one in southern Africa where there was a great worry about civil war in some parts of the world then and some people thought she shouldn’t come to that conference.

“Kenneth Kaunda, who was the head of the government in Zambia, said to me, ‘The very fact that she chose to come here in these difficult circumstances made this Commonwealth meeting a success even before it began.’

“I kept pressing them about what she actually does, asking if she makes a grand opening speech or rally the troops.

“They said just by her being here talking to the prime ministers about what happens in their countries and about what the Commonwealth can do to help and she had an intimate knowledge of what was going on in all of the countries.

“The Commonwealth leaders were grateful that she showed such an interest and she knew what she was talking about and they valued that enormously.”

Sir Trevor added that despite being on the throne for 70 years, she was “a Queen for all the ages”, referring to her comedy sketches with Daniel Craig and Paddington Bear.