The 42-year-old actress appears in the upcoming ITV special The Queen's Green Planet, in which she visits Namibia with her six children to highlight forest conservation. In the documentary, Jolie says she's imparting lessons about caring about the future to her kids -- Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh and twins Vivienne and Knox -- and learning from the Queen herself.
"'This is why it’s important to plant a tree,’ that’s the biggest message I can teach my kids, and it’s something that they’ve certainly learned from Her Majesty and her message,” Jolie says, according to People. “They ask me, ‘Why is it so important to her?’ You know when you sit up at night in a tent with your kids and they say, ‘Why does the Queen of England care about planting trees in Africa?’”
“What it comes down to is you say to the kids, ‘You know really, you don’t know her, you can’t understand all that it means to be a queen and all that," she continues. "But you try to say, ‘You know she’s just this really lovely lady who really cares about people around the world, and she really cares about the future, and she wants your grandkids and her grandkids to be able to be running around, enjoying nature and other cultures, and the importance of other cultures.’ She thinks that really matters and I agree with her.”
The new documentary focuses on the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, an initiative that began in 2015 as a network of forest conservation programs throughout the Commonwealth of Nations. It airs in the U.K. on April 16.
Jolie and Queen Elizabeth have crossed paths before. The queen made the Maleficent actress an honorary dame in London in 2014, in honor of her efforts to raise global awareness of violence against women as the co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, which was established in 2012.
In February, Jolie opened up to former Secretary of State John Kerry about what she hopes her children, her daughters especially, will learn from her 17 years of working with refugees and her co-founding the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.
"I tell my daughters, ‘What sets you apart is what you are willing to do for others. Anyone can put on a dress and makeup. It’s your mind that will define you,'" Jolie said in the interview for Elle. "'Find out who you are, what you think, and what you stand for. And fight for others to have those same freedoms. A life of service is worth living.'"