Queen Elizabeth II -- who usually keeps her royal influence in politics discreetly behind the scenes -- broke with tradition, the Observer reports, bending Tony Blair's ear about America's laggard climate policies, and letting word leak out.
"The Queen has made a rare intervention in world politics to warn Tony Blair of her grave concerns over the White House's stance on global warming," the Observer story says. "She is understood to have asked Downing Street to lobby the U.S. after observing the alarming impact of Britain's changing weather on her estates at Balmoral in Scotland and Sandringham in Norfolk."
Usually the content of conversations between Blair and the queen are kept secret. But one British climatologist, whom the Observer quoted anonymously, described the queen as "very keen" to be involved in the issue.
And the queen is putting her royal stamp on the issue in other ways, too: She'll headline a major international summit on climate issues in Berlin later this week. And she's retrofitted Buckingham Palace to make it more energy-efficient.