THE Duke of Cambridge has admitted that he and Prince George "had to turn off" a David Attenborough documentary about extinction.

William has spoken about how the dire threat to the natural world has affected his son George.

The seven-year-old was left so saddened by a Sir David Attenborough documentary about extinction, he told his father: “I don’t want to watch this any more.”

The future king announced his environmental Earthshot Prize today, which is a Nobel-style £50 million prize fund that aims to recognise ideas and technologies that can safeguard the planet.

Each year from 2021 until the end of the decade, winners in five categories will be awarded £1 million to develop tools to tackle the climate crisis.

William called for the same commitment to tackling coronavirus to be given to the environment. 

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I think to be perfectly honest I’m struggling to keep the optimism levels going with my own children, and that’s really kind of like… an understanding moment.

“Where you kind of look at yourself and go ‘am I doing enough on this, are we really at this stage in life when I can’t be hugely optimistic and pleased that my children are getting so into nature’.

“Because you kind of worry and dread they’re soon going to realise that we are in a very, very dangerous and difficult time in the environment and that as a parent, you feel you’re letting them down immediately.”

William went on to say how his children were fans of Sir David Attenborough’s natural world documentaries but the stark reality of one was too much for George.

He said: “The most recent one – the extinction one – actually George and I had to turn it off, we got so sad about it halfway through. He said to me ‘you know I don’t want to watch this any more’.

“Why has it come to this and you know he’s seven years old and he’s asking me these questions already, he really feels it, and I think every seven-year-old out there can relate to that.”

George and his siblings, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, quizzed 94-year-old Sir David Attenborough in a video recorded at Kensington Palace in August.

William’s eldest son, to whom Sir David gifted a fossilised giant shark’s tooth to mark their meeting at Kensington Palace a few weeks ago, asked him which animal he thinks will become extinct next.

The broadcaster told him: “Well let’s hope there won’t be any, because there are a lot of things we can do when animals are in danger of extinction. We can protect them.”