Two Russian internet jokesters have reportedly placed a prank call to Britain’s Prince Harry, pretending to be teenaged Swedish climate warrior Greta Thunberg and her father, with the rogue royal engaging in a conversation about the environmental crisis where the prince allegedly said that Donald Trump has “blood on his hands” due to his foolhardy advocacy for the increased use of coal for energy production, according to an article in Newsweek.
The rogue royal, whose recent decision — along with his American born Princess, actress Meghan Markle — to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” shocked the world and gave tabloids copious fodder for weeks of headlines, was back in those headlines after reportedly being fooled by two minor YouTube celebrities, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, popularly known as Vovan and Lexus.
The two Russian impersonators have made a habit of placing prank calls to famous celebrities like Sir Elton John — with whom they pretended to Vladimir Putin and discussed LGBTQ rights in Russia — as well as high-level political leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to an account originally reported by Britain’s Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid The Sun, the mischievous duo allegedly spoke to Prince Harry on two separate occasions, once on New Year’s Eve and another in late January, and discussed not only the climate change issues that one would expect Greta Thunberg to be advocating but also the departure of the now not-so-royal couple from the British monarchy.
According to Newsweek:
“At one point in one of the calls, Harry is alleged to have told the Thunbergs: ‘The mere fact that Donald Trump is the pushing the coal industry so big in America, he has blood on his hands, because the effect that has on the climate and the island nations far, far away … again, out of sight, out of mind.'”
“‘We’ve visited those places and I’m sure you have as well. People’s lives have been completely destroyed. People are dying every single month by some form of natural disaster that has been created by this huge change to in our climate,’ Harry is claimed to have said.”
While Newsweek was unable to “independently verify the authenticity of the calls” through the Prince’s spokespeople, an excerpt of the alleged call was posted to YouTube with a crude animation accompanying the audio.
Besides the shade thrown towards Donald Trump’s lack of concern for environmental issues that could doom humanity as we know it, Prince Harry also spoke to the pranksters about his and his wife’s departure from the roles as senior working members of the royal family which will officially cease at the end of this month.
“I can assure you, marrying a prince or princess is not all it’s made out to be,” Harry reportedly said. “But sometimes the right decision isn’t always the easy one. And this decision certainly wasn’t the easy one but it was the right decision for our family, the right decision to be able to protect my son.”
While some have suggested that Kuznetsov and Stolyarov might be in the employ of the Kremlin as part of their country’s cyber-disinformation campaign, the two YouTube jokesters vigorously deny the charge.
“We work for ourselves, for nobody else. People are always offering us to get involved in their dirty games. I was offered $100,000 to secretly prank an MP. But we refuse,” Stolyarov told British newspaper The Guardian in 2016.
Despite the lack of confirmation about the reality of the Russians’ claims to have duped the Prince, the essence of the statement attributed to Harry rings resoundingly true.
Donald Trump’s policy to reverse all of the environmental regulatory gains made during the Obama administration will lead to more deaths from air and water pollution as Republican greed outweighs human rights to a sustainable environment in the contrarian mind of the president.
While diplomatic concerns may prevent Prince Harry from acknowledging that he was taken in by the Greta Thunberg impersonation and told the truth about Trump, he should be proud to stand by his righteous opinion.
Original reporting by Tufayel Ahmed at Newsweek.