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20 highlights from The Queen’s Green Planet that showed why David Attenborough and her Majesty strolling round the grounds of Buckingham Palace should have its own series, by Jim Shelley

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 17/04/2018 Jason Chester

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The Queen’s Green Planet was TV nirvana.

A documentary you knew was special when Sir David Attenborough was not the most fascinating, charismatic, of the two experts discussing nature.

The great man accepted this himself, almost too reverentially.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Heaven: The Queen¿s Green Planet was TV nirvana. A documentary you knew was special when Sir David Attenborough was not the most fascinating, charismatic, of the two experts discussing nature © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Heaven: The Queen¿s Green Planet was TV nirvana. A documentary you knew was special when Sir David Attenborough was not the most fascinating, charismatic, of the two experts discussing nature

‘It’s a little-known fact that her Majesty loves trees!’ he revealed (not anymore, you thought). ‘And now she’s taking her love of nature to a whole new level!’

It was two fine programmes combined.

Ostensibly its purpose was to highlight the Queen’s endeavours persuading the 52 countries of the Commonwealth to plant trees and dedicate forests to her project ‘creating a global network of protected forests.’

a man wearing a suit and tie: Revelation: ¿It¿s a little-known fact that her Majesty loves trees!¿ he revealed (not anymore, you thought). ¿And now she¿s taking her love of nature to a whole new level!¿ © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Revelation: ¿It¿s a little-known fact that her Majesty loves trees!¿ he revealed (not anymore, you thought). ¿And now she¿s taking her love of nature to a whole new level!¿

The veteran Labour MP Frank Field had lobbied various governments over the years.

‘But nobody was interested at all,’ Field said, ‘until the Queen jumped at it.’

Her determination to link the rainforests, and that of Harry, William, and the Duchess of Cambridge when they visited the Commonwealth representing the scheme, was unmistakable – not just for now but ‘for eternity.’

‘It’s called The Queen’s Canopy,’ she told Attenborough. ‘Which is rather nice.’

a person standing next to a tree: Purpose: Ostensibly its purpose was to highlight the Queen¿s endeavours persuading the 52 countries of the Commonwealth to plant trees and dedicate forests to her project ¿creating a global network of protected forests' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Purpose: Ostensibly its purpose was to highlight the Queen¿s endeavours persuading the 52 countries of the Commonwealth to plant trees and dedicate forests to her project ¿creating a global network of protected forests'

Following the project was interesting but it was the footage showing the Queen and Attenborough strolling round the gardens of Buckingham Palace, talking relaxedly and happily about plants and nature and their place in her heritage and life that was the part of the show that was so special - and provided the kind of detail that gave a real (rare) insight into what The Queen was actually like. 

(The fact that she was so pleased about the name, and proud, was obvious.)

Whether it was because Attenborough put her at ease or because his own love of nature meant that she enjoyed talking to him, it provided a fantastic glimpse into her beliefs, her personality, and her sense of humour.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Entertaining: Following the project was interesting but it was the footage showing the Queen and Attenborough strolling round the gardens of Buckingham Palace that was so special © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Entertaining: Following the project was interesting but it was the footage showing the Queen and Attenborough strolling round the gardens of Buckingham Palace that was so special

The number of times you saw her beam or giggle (often mischievously) was remarkable.

Maybe it was because she just felt at home.

a close up of a womans face: Rare sight: The number of times you saw her beam or giggle (often mischievously) was remarkable © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Rare sight: The number of times you saw her beam or giggle (often mischievously) was remarkable Your heart went out to whoever had to tell the bosses at the BBC that Sir David Attenborough and her Majesty had given their historic appearance and such terrific material to ITV.

The Queen’s Green Planet was not just a fantastic documentary, but that rare thing in television – a new format: two 91 year-olds just talking as they strolled round the royal gardens. Like a royal Carpool Karaoke, only better.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Delightful: The Queen¿s Green Planet was not just a fantastic documentary, but that rare thing in television ¿ a new format: two 91 year-olds just talking as they strolled round the royal gardens. Like a royal Carpool Karaoke, only better © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Delightful: The Queen¿s Green Planet was not just a fantastic documentary, but that rare thing in television ¿ a new format: two 91 year-olds just talking as they strolled round the royal gardens. Like a royal Carpool Karaoke, only better

The two most popular people in the country also made for a dream duo that was a definite upgrade on Ant & Dec and the quality of the ‘banter’ was certainly higher.

Attenborough set the scene with one of his classic opening lines, intoning: ‘on a glorious summer’s day I’ve been invited to Buckingham Palace to walk with the Queen in her garden and talk about her love of nature – and whatever else takes our fancy.’

Unexpectedly this included such delights as the Queen commenting on everything from climate change to conkers, Donald Trump’s helicopter to her life expectancy.

‘In 50 years there might be all different kinds of trees here,’ Attenborough suggested.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Quality television: The two most popular people in the country also made for a dream duo that was a definite upgrade on Ant & Dec and the quality of the ¿banter¿ was certainly higher © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Quality television: The two most popular people in the country also made for a dream duo that was a definite upgrade on Ant & Dec and the quality of the ¿banter¿ was certainly higher

‘There might easily be yes,’ agreed the Queen. ‘I won’t be here though.’

The Queen exuded such charm and such presence, even Attenborough was reduced to gushing and being slightly fawning.

a close up of a tree: Her majesty: The Queen exuded such charm and such presence, even Attenborough was reduced to gushing and being slightly fawning © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Her majesty: The Queen exuded such charm and such presence, even Attenborough was reduced to gushing and being slightly fawning But occasionally it was this that also proved winning.

‘It’s the way the branches of the plain trees grow sideways!’ he enthused, and the Queen look delighted when he added: ‘it makes you want to sit on them and swing your feet!’

David Attenborough and the Queen climbing a plane tree and swinging their feet on the branches…What a sight that would be!

Maybe in the sequel…

a person standing next to a tree: Enthralled: ¿It¿s the way the branches of the plain trees grow sideways!¿ he enthused, and the Queen look delighted when he added: ¿it makes you want to sit on them and swing your feet!¿ © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Enthralled: ¿It¿s the way the branches of the plain trees grow sideways!¿ he enthused, and the Queen look delighted when he added: ¿it makes you want to sit on them and swing your feet!¿

Enthralled: ‘It’s the way the branches of the plain trees grow sideways!’ he enthused, and the Queen look delighted when he added: ‘it makes you want to sit on them and swing your feet!’

Here are 20 highlights that made you want to see them walking and talking in The Queen’s Green Planet become a series.

1. ‘It sounds like President Trump…’

- the Queen about the helicopter overhead drowning out their conversation - a comment she waited to make only after it had gone, with perfect timing.

2. ‘Mmmmmh conkers!’

- David Attenborough seeing a chestnut tree, in the style of Homer Simpson about beer

a person that is standing in the grass: What a racket: ¿It sounds like President Trump¿¿ - the Queen about the helicopter overhead drowning out their conversation - a comment she waited to make only after it had gone, with perfect timing © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited What a racket: ¿It sounds like President Trump¿¿ - the Queen about the helicopter overhead drowning out their conversation - a comment she waited to make only after it had gone, with perfect timing

What a racket: ‘It sounds like President Trump…’ - the Queen about the helicopter overhead drowning out their conversation - a comment she waited to make only after it had gone, with perfect timing

3. ‘The dogs hate them. They’re very prickly’

- Her Majesty showing where her priorities lay with an altogether more disapproving, protective, view

4. ‘Didn’t someone recently try to stop children playing conkers? Health & Safety!’

- The Queen showing how closely she follows what’s in the news – and what she thought (‘it seems to be a quite harmless battle thing’)

5. ‘We won’t look at that one because it doesn’t seem to be doing very well. Somebody sat on it I think - at a garden party’

- Her Majesty proving David Attenborough wasn’t quite right when he said ‘this is the story of the Queen’s passion for trees in all shapes and sizes.’ She seemed more amused than concerned about one that had been so trashed it was ‘virtually horizontal.’

a man wearing a suit and tie: Disagreement: Her Majesty proving David Attenborough wasn¿t quite right when he said ¿this is the story of the Queen¿s passion for trees in all shapes and sizes.¿ She seemed more amused than concerned about one that had been so trashed it was ¿virtually horizontal © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Disagreement: Her Majesty proving David Attenborough wasn¿t quite right when he said ¿this is the story of the Queen¿s passion for trees in all shapes and sizes.¿ She seemed more amused than concerned about one that had been so trashed it was ¿virtually horizontal

6. ‘This is a certificate for you,’ the Queen told the president of Fiji, actually giggling as she added: ‘to prove that you’re going to do this’

- an example of her Majesty’s mastery of what Attenborough called ‘exercising soft power.’ Ultimately for those countries not that keen on joining, resistance was futile

7. ‘I’ve been quite difficult to give presents to’

- something of an understatement when you’re the Queen of England, as was Attenborough’s response:

‘I believe that’s so yes’

8. ‘People think ‘oh let’s give her a plant or a tree or something. My birthday last year was very useful. Very productive of roses and lots of plants’

- even more so if you have two birthdays

a close up of Elizabeth II: Opening up: ¿People think ¿oh let¿s give her a plant or a tree or something. My birthday last year was very useful. Very productive of roses and lots of plants,' she said of her birthday gifts © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Opening up: ¿People think ¿oh let¿s give her a plant or a tree or something. My birthday last year was very useful. Very productive of roses and lots of plants,' she said of her birthday gifts

9. ‘They’re the most magical trees because the branches are so noble and broad. One really wants to climb them!’

- David Attenborough summing up the difference between boys and girls, even at the grand old age of 91

10. ‘Yes! One never thought of climbing a plane tree!’

- the Queen looking delighted, and looking as if she hadn’t necessarily ruled it out

11. ‘Isn’t it good? Had we thought of that?’

- the Queen laughing to an off-camera minion when Attenborough pointed out that the Palace garden’s sundial had been ‘neatly planted in the shade!’

12. ‘Maybe we can move it’

a person with collar shirt: Comedy: The Queen laughed to an off-camera minion when Attenborough pointed out that the Palace garden¿s sundial had been ¿neatly planted in the shade!¿ © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Comedy: The Queen laughed to an off-camera minion when Attenborough pointed out that the Palace garden¿s sundial had been ¿neatly planted in the shade!¿

- the Queen showing she wasn’t necessarily that happy about it, suggesting meaning ‘maybe you can move it’ in a way that said she really meant ‘move it!’

13. ‘Sometimes we get crows nests. We have to get people to remove them because it’s not nice to have them outside your window’

- the Queen showing that there’s still a price to pay for living in Buckingham Palace

14. ‘It’s amazing watching the people who cut the branches on ropes right up to the top. It makes one feel quite…ill’

- the Queen demonstrates her brilliant dry comic timing about the arboriculturists who clear the crows’ nests

15. ‘James I chose the wrong sort which was a great disappointment I believe. I think he thought it was going to be rather good !

a man standing next to a woman: Correction: Her Majesty disdainfully correcting David Attenborough after the great man had eagerly run across to check the identity of the trees the Queen had planted years ago for her children and making him do it again © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Correction: Her Majesty disdainfully correcting David Attenborough after the great man had eagerly run across to check the identity of the trees the Queen had planted years ago for her children and making him do it again

- the Queen showing her delightfully cutting sense of humour, even going back to early 1600 when James I blundered with the mulberry trees he planted as food for silkworms

16. ‘You said that one was Prince Andrew! They can’t both be!’

- her Majesty disdainfully correcting David Attenborough after the great man had eagerly run across to check the identity of the trees the Queen had planted years ago for her children and making him do it again.

17. ‘Which colour would you like?’

- her Majesty offers Sir David a rose after he admired her abundantly well-stocked rose garden. Attenborough enthused about the possibility of ‘the blood red or blush pink’ but she countered that she thought ‘the variegated’ was better. Diplomatically he agreed

a man standing next to a tree: Gift: The Queen offered Sir David a rose after he admired her abundantly well-stocked rose garden © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gift: The Queen offered Sir David a rose after he admired her abundantly well-stocked rose garden

18. ‘If you get the children to decorate the Christmas tree themselves then they’re more careful’

- the Queen’s tip combining putting kids to good use at Christmas and stopping them from knocking the decorations off

a tree in a park: Stunning: The grounds of Buckingham Palace provided a picturesque backdrop to Monday evening's show © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Stunning: The grounds of Buckingham Palace provided a picturesque backdrop to Monday evening's show

19. ‘She sends the Duke of Cambridge and his family to Canada, flying 5000 miles to receive one of the first dedications to the canopy’

- Attenborough, indicating the Queen’s green planet is not quite as green as it could be

20. ‘If all the countries continue to plant it might change the climate again’

- the Queen suggesting she doesn’t share President Trump’s views about climate change. When David Attenborough encouraged this opinion, enthusing that more forests would help the economies of the countries concerned and help the animals and the people living in them, she added: ‘yes. It’s a lung isn’t it?’

Stunning: The grounds of Buckingham Palace provided a picturesque backdrop to Monday evening's show 

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