Royally polluted: air around rural royal residences breaching pollution limits

10th April 2018

Data revealed by Friends of the Earth shows that escaping to the country does not necessarily mean an escape to clean air.

Friends of the Earth has investigated the pollution levels of the air breathed by the royals at their residences across the UK. Air in the vicinity of royal households such as Highgrove House in the Cotswolds, and Sandringham in Norfolk, have seen nitrogen dioxide levels surpass national air quality standards, as shown by the most recent local authority data on air pollution.

Friends of the Earth clean air campaigner, Aaron Kiely, said:

“While the royals may enjoy an escape to the country in areas such as the Cotswolds and Norfolk, it’s difficult to escape the issue of air pollution. Many people see dirty air as an issue affecting only a few inner-cities, but the truth is that most areas of the UK are seeing breaches of legal air pollution limits.

“As Harry and Meghan are busy planning their big day, they may want to think about the air they’ll be breathing around Windsor Castle. Windsor and Maidenhead recorded dangerously high levels of air pollution at times in 2017. Perhaps they should consider using low emission vehicles in place of the usual royal fleet of high polluting vintage cars, and encouraging well-wishers to travel to Windsor by public transport or bicycle.

“We’d be happy to send them a Clean Air Kit as a wedding gift to help them find out more about air pollution in the area and help them do something about it. It would be a shame if dirty air meant they had to add masks to their outfits!”

Friends of the Earth is also inviting everyone across the UK (including the royals!) to get involved in improving air quality in their local area. By ordering your own Clean Air Kit you can test the air you are breathing every day and join the movement to clean up air pollution.

Royal residences located within areas breaching annual nitrogen dioxide air quality standards:

  1. Sandringham
  2. Highgrove House
  3. Palace of Holyrood
  4. Buckingham Palace
  5. Kensington Palace
  6. Clarence House
  7. St James’s Palace