Sir David Attenborough has honoured the late Queen Elizabeth II by planting an English Oak tree in London. The act marked the official opening of a new four-acre Platinum Jubilee woodland in Richmond Park, one of the eight Royal Parks in the capital.
The 96-year-old naturalist and broadcaster said planting the tree was a “fitting tribute” to the Queen, who was a “great lover of trees’’. The English oak was one of the final trees planted from more than one million as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative, which aims to create an environmental legacy.
Sir David explained he was “thrilled” to plant the tree, one of 70 planted for each year of the Queen’s reign, and to be opening the park of his late friend, who was born less than 3 weeks before himself in 1926. David shared a strong rapport with the monarch, and produced her yearly televised Christmas message more than five times in the 1980s and 1990s.
“The late Queen was very fond of the Royal Parks and was a great lover of trees, so this is a fitting tribute to her memory,” he said. “Its creation also marks the continuing conservation of this protected landscape, and the wonderful wildlife within, so that it can be enjoyed by many generations to come.
“The Queen’s Green Canopy has created an invaluable national legacy for our children, future generations and the planet itself,” the Planet Earth presenter and QGC ambassador added.
The Plant a Tree for the Jubilee project has seen more than a million new trees planted in the Queen’s name, and is due to end on March 31. The initiative was extended by King Charles to allow for more trees to be planted in the late monarch’s name following her death in September.
In 2018, the Queen and Sir David appeared in an ITV documentary, The Queen’s Green Planet, to mark the launch of the QGC project. The documentary saw the two, then aged 91, stroll around the Buckingham Palace gardens discussing trees planted by family members and for her children.