Prince Charles appeared as a hologram when he spoke to world leaders at an energy summit in the United Arab Emirates yesterday (21.01.08).

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The 59-year-old royal avoided generating the 20 tons of carbon waste it would have cost to transport him and his entourage to Abu Dhabi for the World Future Energy Summit and instead attended the event in three-dimensional holographic form, which has the same carbon emission as a lightbulb.

During his six-minute speech, which was pre-recorded at his London residence, Clarence House, he said: “Scientists are now saying that the problem of climate change is now so grave and so urgent that we have less than 10 years to slow, stop and reverse greenhouse gas emissions.

“Common actions are needed in every country to protect the common inheritance that has been given to us by our creator.”

Following his speech, the prince’s hologram disappeared into thin air, causing many of the 2,500 delegates to gasp.

Sean Reel, the Commercial Director for Connecta Group, who produced the image added the effect was as if the prince “was right there”.

He said: “The prince was keen on using the hologram to show his commitment to reducing the carbon footprint. He was walking back and forth and gesturing with his hands. It looked as though he was right there.”

The prince has become the first royal ever to be reproduced in hologram form, however, it is not the first time the technology has been adopted by other statesman.

Former US Vice President Al Gore used a hologram to project himself to Tokyo, Japan, for the beginning of the Live Earth concerts in July last year.