The Queen paid tribute to her late husband's half-century-long fight for the planet in a video address to the attendees of a reception at the COP26 climate summit
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Queen Elizabeth Video Address
Credit: IPTV/Twitter

Queen Elizabeth struck a sentimental note Monday night in an address to the attendees of the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

In the speech, which was recorded Friday afternoon in the White Drawing room at Windsor Castle, the 95-year-old monarch honored her late husband Prince Philip's great passion for the environment — a crusade he has passed down to his children and grandchildren.

"The impact of the environment on human progress was a subject close to the heart of my dear late husband," said the Queen, who was sitting next to a photo of the Duke of Edinburgh and wearing a brooch that is thought to have been a wedding gift. (The Duke died in April at age 99, and November 20 would have been the couple's 74th anniversary.)

The Queen shared a memory from when Philip spoke with an academic gathering at an early point in his half-century-long campaign to fight climate change. Now, decades later, she emphasized, "If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance."

"It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet lives on through the work of our eldest son, Charles, and his eldest son, William," she continued. "I could not be more proud of them."

She added, "Indeed, I have drawn great comfort and inspiration from the relentless enthusiasm of people of all ages – especially the young – in calling for everyone to play their part."

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Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Fox Photos/Getty

"For more than seventy years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world's great leaders," she recalled.

"I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship," she urged the global leaders attending COP26. "It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit — written in history books yet to be printed — will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations."

She also noted, "Of course, the benefits of such actions will not be there to enjoy for all of us here today: we none of us will live forever. But we are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children's children, and those who will follow in their footsteps."

"And so," she concluded, "I wish you every good fortune in this significant endeavour."

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a drinks reception for Queen Elizabeth II and G7 leaders at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021 in St Austell, Cornwall, England
Prince Charles, Camilla, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Jack Hill - WPA Pool / Getty

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The Queen announced last week that she "regretfully" decided not to attend the conference after being advised by doctors to rest. After an overnight hospitalization on October 20, Buckingham Palace announced Friday that the monarch has been "advised that she should continue to rest for at least the next two weeks." She was spotted driving solo around the grounds of Windsor Castle on Monday.

The Queen plans to the National Service of Remembrance on Remembrance Sunday, November 14, and will continue to undertake light duties from Windsor Castle.