The Queen has appeared to suggest she is irritated by a lack of action in tackling the climate crisis.
Her remarks emerged in clips of a conversation filmed on a phone camera during a trip to Cardiff for the opening of the Welsh Senedd on Thursday.
Two video clips, parts of which are inaudible, show the Queen chatting with the Duchess of Cornwall and Elin Jones, the parliament’s presiding officer.
At one point she appears to be talking about the COP26 climate conference, and can be heard saying she does not know who is coming to the event which will begin in Glasgow at the end of this month.
In the clip, she said: “I’ve been hearing all about COP … I still don’t know who’s coming.”
In a separate clip, the Queen also appears to say it is “irritating” when “they talk, but they don’t do”.
The comments are a rare public insight into the views of the monarch, who also recently urged those hesitant to get a Covid-19 vaccine to “think about other people” and get the jab.
And the Queen has been previously dragged into the Brexit debate, first during the 2016 referendum campaign by a Sun front-page story which suggested she had voiced Eurosceptic views at at 2011 lunch with then-deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
She was also drawn into a constitutional row in August 2019 amid a bitter battle in Westminster over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to ask her to suspend Parliament for more than a month, advice which the Supreme Court later found to be “unlawful”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested the Queen’s latest comments about the climate conference were “private”.
“I think comments made in private should stay private, but we all share the desire to see progress made and we know there will be hundreds of leaders coming to Glasgow for COP,” he told Sky News.
“We will wait to see whether it lives up to – whether they all live up to – expectation, it’s very important we get this job done.
“I don’t think her comments were for broadcast.”
The Queen and senior members of the royal family will carry out engagements at the COP26 summit, which will now be attended by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison.
But in a blow to hopes for what could be achieved, China’s president Xi Jinping will not attend, according to The Times newspaper.
In the second clip, Ms Jones refers to the Duke of Cambridge in her reply to the Queen, saying she had been watching him “on television this morning saying there’s no point going into space, we need to save the earth”.
William had earlier warned the COP26 summit against “clever speak, clever words but not enough action”.
He said: “I think for COP to communicate very clearly and very honestly what the problems are and what the solutions are going to be, is critical.
“We can’t have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action.”
William has criticised the space race, saying the world’s greatest minds need to focus on trying to fix their own planet instead.
His comments, in an interview with BBC Newscast on BBC Sounds, were aired the day after Star Trek’s William Shatner made history by becoming the oldest person in space.
The 90-year-old actor, known for his role as Captain James T Kirk, lifted off from the Texas desert on Wednesday in a rocket built by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s space travel company Blue Origin.