Queen: COP26 statement ‘carefully balance’ says Sacerdoti
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Her Majesty pulled out of the key climate change summit after being urged to rest by her doctors. The 95-year-old monarch was due to travel to Scotland to host a major reception for world leaders at the conference. But Buckingham Palace said that the Queen is only undertaking “light duties” after spending a night in the hospital for “preliminary investigations”.
Young climate activist O’niel Leadon, from the Bahamas, was disappointed.
He told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think it made a huge amount of difference that the Queen wasn’t here [at COP26] because those who are focused on the work are going to do the work.
“But having the Queen here would have been amazing in terms of optics, and in terms of getting the common person to be more engaged as that would have created a huge media frenzy.”
But while the Queen could not attend in person, she was able to deliver a message to world leaders via video.
The Queen said in the video that it is “time for words has now moved to the time for action”.
She also urged global powers to act now for “our children and our children’s children” and “rise above the politics of the moment”.
But Mr Leadon feels the Queen is now holding his country back.
The Bahamas is a constitutional monarchy, meaning that The Queen has a unique relationship with the country.
As Queen of The Bahamas, Her Majesty plays an important ceremonial and symbolic role in the country, although she is not involved in the day-to-day business of The Bahamas’ Government.
Mr Leadon told Express.co.uk: “I feel as though sometimes having the Queen as head of state is a hindrance.
“When you’re from a place like the Bahamas and you want to make certain advancements, you cannot do so without the Queen’s permission.
“Of course, as she is our head of state, the first one who directly reports to the Queen is the Governor Director General of the Bahamas, and so a lot of things get tied up in that situation.”
Last month, Barbados elected its first-ever president, dropping Queen Elizabeth as the head of the state 55 years after independence from Britain.
And Mr Leadon called for a change to the system in the Bahamas as well.
He told Express.co.uk: “Would I support removing the Queen as head of state? When the Bahamas is ready, of course. “
“I believe in the potential of my people so much I know that we have taken so many great lessons from our past Prime Ministers and the wider network of world leaders, and I think that, with the right timing, the Bahamas will be ready to make that separation.
“I know that Barbados is doing the very same thing and I love that for my Caribbean people because we are a region of nations that have been so underestimated.
“I know there is so much more that we can bring to the world stage and I just need us to have the opportunity, and we need to be able to support ourselves.”
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But Mr Leadon did warn that the Queen is still needed for the time being.
He told Express.co.uk: “I know that a huge part of why we are not able to step away from the monarchy is because of financial reason, it’s because we don’t have investments and don’t have a huge amount of backing, but in the right moment when it’s ready I know that the Bahamas is going to do stellar things on the world stage.”
Mr Leadon has built up a huge following on Instagram and is now a prominent young climate activist who has been making waves in the climate movement.
He is still at COP26 where he was involved in talks with The Extreme Hangout, a youth-led climate movement.
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