'She wasn't putting it on': David Attenborough remembers the Queen joking about her own death
ABERDEENSHIRE, SCOTLAND: Sir David Attenborough is a famous broadcaster and botanist who is held in high regard for his stunning documentaries on the animal kingdom and the natural world. His flawless works and knowledgeable contents have created a wide group of admirers from all around the world. Among his many admirers was Queen Elizabeth II, who met with Attenborough last year for 'The Queen’s Green Planet'. The Queen also launched the charity The Queen’s Green Canopy in honour of her Platinum Jubilee Year in 2022 with the aim to encourage everyone to plant more trees.
During the programme, the two can be seen walking along a path, at which point the Queen drops a morbidly cheeky joke. Speaking about how climate change will have an impact on the trees presented to the monarch over the next 50 years, the Queen, who has planted over 1,500 trees all over the world, quipped, “I won’t be here though." The two national treasures then shared a smile as Attenborough burst into a slight chuckle at the Queen's razor-sharp wit, which was captured in the footage by ITV.
According to Express UK, Attenborough told Radio Times at the time that he was nervous about the project with the Queen. “Yes, there was a certain amount of apprehension because all sorts of things could have gone wrong" he said. “There were problems in that where the palace is, geographically, there are always police sirens and ambulance sirens that make filming difficult. But she took it all in her stride." He added, “It was a privilege of course, a very nice occasion and she was very gracious. She is very unsolemn, very good at putting people at their ease.”
News of the Queen's death was broken to the public via an official statement from Buckingham Palace yesterday, 8 September. The statement read, "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow." Following Queen Elizabeth's passing, King Charles III, 73, immediately took his place as her successor.
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/VfxpXro22W
The 73-year-old also issued a statement regarding the recent loss of his mother. "The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the loss of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved Mother." The statement concluded, "During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
A statement from His Majesty The King: pic.twitter.com/AnBiyZCher— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
Sir David has paid tribute to the Queen as well, according to ITV, saying he will remember her by her 'most precious' laugh. The natural history expert, who is also 96, recalled the monarch's sense of humor on Friday, as he reflected on a friendship, and working relationship, that spanned many decades. While it was easy enough for anyone to make a polite laugh “if there was something funny she laughed in a genuine way”, he recalled. And when the Queen truly laughed “she wasn’t putting it on and that made it very easy,” Sir David added. “She was an expert at getting people to relax. When you met her you were well-aware that you were in the presence of someone who was extremely important to our society and yet she made it seem that you were meeting another human being with exactly the same conditions that all human beings have.”
In 1986, the Queen rewarded Sir David's work with a knighthood. But a year later, they reportedly clashed while working together for a BBC production.