William Shatner Says Prince William Has 'Got the Wrong Idea' About Space Travel

William Shatner has responded to Prince William's criticism of space travel, insisting that the British royal has "got the wrong idea."

The Duke of Cambridge was this week seen hitting out at space tourism projects such as those run by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, as he called on the billionaires to make efforts to "repair this planet" instead.

In an interview with the BBC, Prince William said: "We need some of the world's greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live."

He went on: "I think that ultimately is what sold it for me—that really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future."

His comments were published one day after Star Trek actor Shatner, 90, made history as the oldest person to travel into space as he took flight aboard Bezos' Blue Origin New Shepard 18 rocket ship from Texas on Wednesday.

And in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, which aired on Thursday, Shatner addressed Prince William's comments.

"He's a lovely Englishman. He's going to be king of England one day," Shatner said. "He's a lovely, gentle, educated man, but he's got the wrong idea."

He continued: "The idea here is not to go, 'Yeah, look at me. I'm in space.' The landing that consumed all that... energy and people to take a look and go, 'Oh, look at that.' No.

"I would tell the prince—and I hope the prince gets the message—this is a baby step into the idea of getting industry up there, so that all those polluting industries, especially, for example, the industries that make electricity... off of Earth.

"We've got all the technology, the rockets, to send the things up there... You can build a base 250, 280 miles above the Earth and send that power down here, and they catch it, and they then use it, and it's there. All it needs is... somebody as rich as Jeff Bezos [to say], 'Let's go up there.'"

William Shatner and Prince William
(L-R) William Shatner said Prince William has "got the wrong idea" following his criticism of space tourism. Shatner made history by going on a space mission on Thursday. Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images;/Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images

"The prince is missing the point," Shatner added. "The point is these are the baby steps to show people [that] it's very practical. You can send somebody like me up into space."

He did, however, agree with the Duke's stance that there are issues that need to be dealt with on Earth, adding: "So fix some of the stuff down here... But we can curl your hair and put lotion on your face at the same time."

Elsewhere in his interview, Shatner spoke about his journey to space, which lasted approximately 10 minutes and saw the crew capsule reach an apogee of 347,539 feet above ground level.

"You hear people say religious experience, I don't know about religious experience, but you can have an overwhelming experience," he said, before comparing it to somebody holding their child for the first time.

"You hold the baby and it's magical. It's so overwhelming. How am I going to protect this child?" Shatner said. "You're flooded with the responsibility and need to take care of [the child] and how you're going to do it. That's an overwhelming experience, and I had that experience.

"Looking at what I thought was life and death, what I thought was my children and my children's children. The need to stop that blackness from overwhelming our precious planet and how unknowing the people who are not as consumed as I am about the necessity of protecting the earth."

William Shatner
William Shatner listens during a press conference at the New Shepard rocket landing pad on October 13, 2021, in the West Texas region. Shatner went to where no 90-year-old went on Blue Origin's second crewed mission, NS-18. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images