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Queen Elizabeth II caught calling world leaders lack of action on climate change irritating

Queen Elizabeth II has appeared to criticize the global lack of action on climate change in comments caught on microphone.

The 95-year-old British monarch was filmed on a phone as she visited Cardiff to open the Welsh parliament.

At one point, speaking to her daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and parliament presiding officer Elin Jones, she said "I've been hearing all about COP … I still don't know who's coming."

On the recording, parts of which are inaudible, the queen also appears to say it is "irritating" when "they talk, but they don't do."

The queen is due to welcome leaders from around the world to COP26, a United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of the month. Several heads of state or government, including China's Xi Jinping, have not said whether they will attend.

In Britain's constitutional monarchy the queen is meant to be above politics, and she rarely expresses opinions in public.

Her Majesty typically strictly adheres to this policy, but has been caught on camera making seemingly political remarks before. She made headlines, especially in the United Kingdom, in 2016 when she was overheard at a garden party criticizing Chinese officials for being "very rude" during a state visit to Britain the prior year.

Her son and heir, Prince Charles, though, has long been outspoken on environmental issues. And Charles' son Prince William has also taken up the cause.