Inside the Film That Captures Prince William’s ‘Personal Mission’ to Highlight the Planet in Peril

Prince William is on a mission — a very personal one inspired by his own children and his father Prince Charles.

That's the opinion of the man who spent two years with the father of three as he crisscrossed Britain and the world making a documentary. The film, Prince William: A Planet For Us All, premieres this Thursday, January 14, on discovery+ streaming service. (The film has already been shown in the U.K. last October.)

"What was really amazing was what a personal project this has been for him and how he has discovered over that time a real mission. At its heart, this is about family," says the film's executive producer Nick Kent.

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In the documentary, William, who is dad to 7-year-old son Prince George, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, says he owes it to young people to help their "voices be heard."

"That generational gap has to be bridged somehow," the royal continues. "I feel it is my duty and our collective responsibility to leave our planet in a stronger position for our children."

Kent adds, "He talks in the film about how having children changed him but he also talks about being aware of the legacy of his grandfather – the Duke of Edinburgh turns 100 this year – and his dad. And he feels a sense of responsibility and he says if my kids say to me what did you do, I don't want to have failed."

Kent, whose Oxford Films made the documentary, says that the coronavirus pandemic has helped "give us an acute awareness that climate change is not some abstract thing happening on the other side of the world to other people."

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The animal-to-human transmission at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis is "a product of the way we are treating the planet. We are encroaching on territory that is bringing us closer and closer proximity to animals and that has consequences, which are unpredictable and massive," he says.

In what discovery+ calls a "portrayal of the amazing, world-changing ways in which people are working together every day to become the solution the planet so desperately needs," William is joined in the film by conservation heroes from broadcasting icon Sir David Attenborough to youngsters in local communities fighting to protect nature right at home.  

He meets a group of children in Liverpool who show him their bug hotel, "Bugingham Palace," and two young schoolgirls in the Scottish Highlands who are working to protect the ocean wildlife which is being damaged by trawlers dredging the seabed for scallops.

Kent adds, "Children are not just the inspiration but also the source of optimism because they have this belief in the future and throughout the film, William is meeting children who have this fierce passion and optimism that we can solve this. He is an optimist.

"He absolutely believes that it's within our power to do something about climate change and save the planet and that's the message of the film.

"He's incredibly relaxed and at ease with children and I saw him get more relaxed and at ease as we went on. He really engages – maybe fatherhood has had that impact on him. He probably gets that from his mother – we all saw how she was didn't we?"

The show also dovetails with his ground-breaking Earthshot Prize, launched last year to find solutions to climate change and other pressing problems the planet faces.

"It feels like this journey he has been on that is coming into flower with the Earthshot Prize has been something that's really timely and it's a personal mission for him and one that has been inspired by his children and his grandfather and his dad," Kent says.

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The show that has helped fashion his ongoing campaign to hightlight the perils facing the planet dovetails with his ground-breaking  Earthshot Prize, launched last year to find solutions to climate change and other pressing problems the planet faces.

"It feels like this journey he has been on that is coming into flower with the Earthshot Prize has been something that's really timely and it's a personal mission for him and one that has been inspired by his children and his grandfather and his dad," Kent concludes.

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