In front of a packed audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Duke of Cambridge spoke to the 92-year-old broadcaster and naturalist for half an hour, talking about their shared passions for conservation, tackling climate change and Sir David's long broadcasting career. "We are now so numerous, so powerful, so all-pervasive, the mechanisms that we have for destruction are so wholesale and so frightening that we can actually exterminate whole ecosystems without even noticing it". Humanity has done "appalling damage upon marine life, the extent of which we don't fully know", said Attenborough.
Prince William asked the naturalist if he had a message for world leaders attending the Davos forum.
"What we are doing to our planet at the moment, could you look them in the eye and say - 'I knew what could be done to stop degradation of the environment and the planet, but it was too hard and rather boring, and I failed to do it. We have changed the world so much that scientists say we are in a new geological age: the Anthropocene, the age of humans".
"It's a personal treat for me to be sitting asking you the questions", William said. "We need to move beyond guilt or blame, and get on with the practical tasks at hand".
Work around conservation and the environment has become a key focus for Prince William's charitable work.
Sir David said that he chose to work with Netflix for his next big wildlife documentary series because it could be seen by 150 million people in many countries at the same... We can go to the bottom of the sea, we can go into space, we can use drones, we can use helicopters, we can speed things up and we can slow them down.
According to the Guardian, Sir David said that back then, the world felt unexplored and exciting, particularly when visiting the Tropics for the first time. "We are destroying the natural world, and with it, ourselves".
Earlier, during the forum's Crystal Awards ceremony where he was honoured for his environmental stewardship, Mr Attenborough warned that Earth's "Garden of Eden is no more".
In his speech, Attenborough said that without action on climate change, civilization would collapse and that it was up to humans to use their "natural problem-solving skills" to find a solution.
"It's not just a question of beauty or interest or wonder, it's the essential ingredient, essential part of human life is a healthy palate", he warned.
"We are in the danger of wrecking that", Sir David added.
Sir David was speaking in Davos where business leaders, politicians and NGOs are meeting this week to discuss the next iteration of globalisation.