Naturalist Sir David Attenborough has revealed his favourite animal is the monkey, when quizzed by the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were given the chance to ask the 94-year-old broadcaster one question about the natural world.
It is the first time Prince Louis, two, has been heard speaking in public.
The young prince asked: “What animal do you like?” “I like monkeys best because they are such fun,” Sir David replied.
“Mind you, you can’t have monkeys sitting around the home because that’s not where they live,” he cautioned, mindful perhaps of the duke and duchess’s domestic life at Kensington Palace.
“So what can you have at home that you like? Well, which would you choose – a puppy or a kitten?” said Sir David, before continuing: “It’s a very difficult question. I think I’d go for a puppy.”
Prince George, the eldest son of Prince William and Catherine, wanted to know: “What animal do you think will become extinct next?”
“Well, let’s hope there won’t be any,” said Sir David.
“There are lots of things we can do when animals are in danger of extinction. We can protect them.”
He related how the population of mountain gorillas in central Africa, which were “very, very rare” 40 years ago, had grown from 250 animals to more than 1,000, thanks to public awareness and global fund-raising.
“So you can save an animal if you want to and you put your mind to it,” the famous naturalist told the seven-year-old prince.
“People around the world are doing that because animals are so precious, ” he added. “So let’s hope there won’t be any more that go extinct.
Like her brother, Princess Charlotte, five, began her question with a confident: “Hello David Attenborough!”
“I like spiders, do you like spiders too?” she asked
“I love spiders. I am so glad you like them!” said Sir David. “I think they’re wonderful things.”
“Why is it that people are so frightened of them? I think it’s because they have actually got eight legs, which are much more than us. And if you’ve got eight legs you can move in any direction – so you can never be quite sure which way that spider is going to go!
“But spiders are so clever. Have you ever watched one try to build its web? That is extraordinary. How does it make this circular web like that… how do they do it? Try and watch and see how they do it – it’s marvellous.”