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In advance of the royal visit, George travelled to London to talk with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at Clarence House, his official London residence. The first-ever Canadian TV interview with Prince Charles was a wide-ranging conversation, touching on the Prince's views on urban planning, organic agriculture his youth charity The Prince's Trust.
Some excerpts from the conversation:
On his relationship to Canada:
I love coming to Canada. I enjoy always seeing Canadians everywhere. But as you can imagine I feel a great interest in everything that is going on in Canada.
On being an early proponent of organic agriculture:
As far as the organic side is concerned, it’s 30 years ago now. I suppose I felt that what was happening in the conventional agri-industrial field was unsustainable over a long term, because it didn’t actually pay attention to nature, didn’t pay attention to the health of the soil, and I thought was over-dependent on chemicals, and very often on the prophylactic use of antibiotics in everything - you know, in animal feed, you name it. And now, indeed, we’ve got a huge problem, which is antimicrobial resistance.
On Princes William and Harry:
They’re terrific, both my children. They rush about doing every kind of things. So I think they’ve got, also, this feeling. And I mean, it’s called duty, which has become an old-fashioned word for some reason. But that’s what I was always brought up to understand. And there is an enormous amount that needs doing. There are masses of people who need help and encouragement. I’m just one of those people who minds. And so when I find things that aren’t happening somewhere, I want to do something about it. I’m the bane of my office and everybody who works for me.
On car-centred urban planning:
I’ve always felt that the secret is how to re-integrate the human being and nature into the whole design process. Because for the last, I don’t know, 80 or 90 or 100 years, we’ve designed everything with the car at the centre and not the pedestrian. If you change that around and put the pedestrian at the centre — and nature — you get a completely different, more humane, people-centred, walkable environment, which could be much more attractive.
On preserving the wisdom of past generations:
What I’ve been terribly anxious to do is to capture the wisdom and experience we’ve inherited over thousands of years, before the people who had all that in different ways and skills disappear. Because in the 1960s, so many of these things were being thrown away. Literally. As being no longer relevant in any way. It was almost as if an axe had come down between the past and the present. That seemed to be crazy because our lives consist of a balance and a blend between the past and the present; you can’t tell what’s going to happen in the future. We have to live in the present. So I wanted to capture some of this wisdom and knowledge before it was all gone.