Just when you thought Prince Charles‘ love of environmental preservation couldn’t get any more extreme, his eldest son, Prince William, has revealed that his father names local red squirrels and lets them roam free in his house. Yes, seriously!

William, 36, confessed this funny quirk about his dad to Country Life, the UK magazine that Charles guest edited to mark his 70th birthday. The grandfather-of-three (soon four!) has reportedly been backing efforts to protect the rare squirrels whose population count has fallen in the UK from 3.5 million to 250,000 in his lifetime.

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“He is completely infatuated by the red squirrels that live around the [Birkhall] estate in Scotland,” William admitted. “To the extent that he’s given them names and is allowing them into the house!”

Charles also told the magazine that he even goes as far as feeding the adorable critters. “They come into the house at Birkhall and we get them chasing each other round and round inside,” he said. “If I sit there quietly, they will do so around me. Sometimes, when I leave my jackets on a chair with nuts in the pockets, I see them with their tails sticking out, as they hunt for nuts — they are incredibly special creatures.”

Charles began devoting his life to conserving the environment for as long as we can remember. The Prince of Wales’ son Prince Harry praised his father for constantly raising awareness on environmental issues during a speech at the Australian Geographic Society Awards in Sydney on Oct. 26. The Duke’s rhetoric echoed past speeches given by Charles that still ring true many decades later.

Prince Charles Bond Princess Charlotte
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“My father and others have been speaking about the environment for decades — not basing it on fallacy or new-age hypothesis, but rooted in science and facts, and the sobering awareness of our environmental vulnerability,” Harry, 34, said. “And while those speeches would sometimes fall on deaf ears, he and others were unrelenting in their commitment to preserving the most valuable resource we have — our planet.”

Charles’ commitment has inspired many in the royal family, especially William. “His passion for the environment and the natural world is something I want to repeat in the way I raise [Prince] George, [Princess] Charlotte, and [Prince] Louis,” the Duke of Cambridge told Country Life. We’re excited to see how the future generations, especially Charles’ grandchildren — George, 5, Charlotte, 3, and Louis, 5 months — follow in his royal footsteps and live out the legacy of preserving our beautiful planet.

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