Kate and William dazzle as Earthshot Prize ceremony kicks off
In an article published a few hours before the awards ceremony for his environmental prize, William described himself as a “stubborn optimist”.
Global star Billie Eilish will lead a stellar entertainment line-up during a ceremony – dubbed the prince’s “world cup” moment – that aims to celebrate and scale up environmental solutions to repair the planet.
Former England and Manchester United footballer David Beckham will present one of the five awards with each category winner receiving £1 million to develop their project.
The Princess of Wales is wearing Princess Diana’s emerald choker
The royal pair arrived in style to cheers from the crowds
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped the first official teaser for Harry & Meghan, the Sussexes’ behind-the-scenes Netflix docuseries during Kate and William’s US tour.
Royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti claimed the royal couple will go to any length to overshadow Kate and William.
Writing in the Huffington Post, the future King said about the finalists: “The Earthshot Prize wants to find the best of them. We want to celebrate and support them, so that we not only supercharge their positive impact but also demonstrate to a despairing world that there is an optimistic way forward.
“Dire predictions about our natural world aren’t the only side to this story and they don’t have to be our future.”
Ahead of the event being staged on Friday evening at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway, behind the scenes photographs of William and Kate attending a Thursday rehearsal for the ceremony were released.
But the couple’s three-day trip to Boston, which ends on Friday, has been overshadowed by the race row that saw William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey resign as a royal aide after she repeatedly questioned a prominent black British-born domestic abuse charity boss about where she “really came from”.
The eager crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the royals
The royal couple were welcomed to the ceremony by adoring fans
A trailer promoting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix docuseries was released on Thursday, with the timing interpreted by some royal commentators as a snub to William and Kate.
William wrote about the thinking behind his award and how he was inspired by President John F Kennedy’s successful “Moonshot” ambition to put a man on the moon.
He said: “We face a challenge as seemingly insurmountable as putting a person on the moon: reversing the damage that has been done to our planet, and putting ourselves on a path toward a more sustainable future. Repairing our planet is not going to be easy, but the case for taking action to protect our natural world is undeniable.”
Ahead of the awards William visited the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, with Caroline Kennedy, JFK’s daughter and her children Jack and Tatiana Schlossberg.
“Incredible,” William said, as he looked at the speech. “What was he trying to do here?” he asked, pointing out JFK’s hand-written annotations on some sections of the speech.
Jack Schlossberg replied: “To a lot of people, he was trying to justify the investment that was going to be needed.”
After the visit, the Kennedys joined William for a private lunch and discussion with representatives from the Founding Partner organisations of the Earthshot Prize.
William met US president Joe Biden at the end of the royal’s visit to John F Kennedy’s Presidential Library and Museum, on a chilly but sunny day, and as he approached the world leader joked “where’s your top?”.
The pair greeted guests arriving for the ceremony
As they left for private talks, where William gave Mr Biden an overview of the Earthshot Prize, the prince was overheard saying “spectacular setting” in reference to the waterside views from the museum.
A Kensington palace spokesman described the 30-minute talks between the two men as “warm, friendly and substantive”.
William thanked President Biden for travelling to London for the late Queen’s funeral in September and they both shared memories of the monarch.
The spokesman said Mr Biden was keen to learn about Earthshot and some of the stories from the finalists, including the Great Bubble Barrier, a 2022 finalist in the Revive Our Oceans category. The prince also shared his global, long term ambition for environmental awards.
Four other winners of the Earthshot Prize
The other winners of the Earthshot Prize alongside 44.01 are:
– Mukuru Clean Stoves in Kenya which is an almost entirely female business including all-female founders. The company makes stoves which are heated by processed biomass from charcol, wood and sugar cane as an alternative to solid fuels which pollute the air and lead to accidents.
– Kheyti in India, won the award for the ‘Protect and Restore Nature’ category of the ceremony. Kaushik Kappagantulu’s Greehouse-in-a-Box helps India’s small-hold farmers protect their crops from extreme weather conditions which are part of climate change, and from pests.
– Notpla in the UK offers a waste-free solution from Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez have used seaweed to make natural and bio-degradatble plastic in an effort to create a waste-free world. The project began eight years ago in a student kitchen. Pierre said: “We would have never imagined we would be here todya. No one wants to live in a world full of plastic waste but it’s not too late to act.”
– In another category which focuses on ‘Revive Our Oceans’, The Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia won the £1million prize for their scheme which has trained over 60 women in traditionala and digital ocean conservation techniques.
Comments from Prince William
Prince Wiliam told the guests at the ceremony: “I believe that the Earthshot solutions you have seen this evening prove we can overcome our planet’s greatest challenges.
“By supporting and scaling them we can change our future.”
It is the second Earthshot Prize ceremony
Prince William has announced five winners
One of the five winners includes childhood friends from Oman who have devised a way of turning carbon dioxide into rock.
Each winner of the prestigious prize from the Prince of Wales will win £1million towards developing their project.
The other four projects are from India, Kenya, the UK, and Australia.
The winners were carefully selected from a list of 15 finalists by a panel which included the likes of David Attenborough, the Prince of Wales, and Fijian activist Ernest Gibson.
Talal Hasan, founder of 44.01 the project in Oman, told of how it was a “proud moment” for himself and his fellow team who “started 44.01 two years ago bcause we saw the very real impact of climate change here in Oman.”
He added: “Winning the Earthshot Prize will help us scale our solution around the world, and ultimately elminate billions of tonnes of CO2.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge we have every faaced but being part of this amazing group of finalists give us hope.”
44.01 turns CO2 into peridotite, which is a rock found commonly in Oman and across the globe. The project would see a cheaper and safer method of storing carbon instead of burying it underground.
Kate pays touching tribute to Princess Diana
The emerald and diamond choker necklace which the Princess of Wales opted to wear for tonight’s ceremony, once belonged to the former Princess of Wales, Princess Diana.
The necklace was famously adapted while in Diana’s possession to suit her outfit or mood for the event.
Famously, in her royal tour of Australia in 1985, Diana decided to wear the choker as a statement headband.
The re-use of a piece of jewellery in such a creative way would no doubt be suppoerted by Kate’s drive to wear sustainable and re-usable fashion choices.
The Art Deco choker has a prominent place in the history of the royal family as is once belonged to Queen Mary.
The Queen was presented with it among other jewels during the Delhi Durbar in 1911 which she then had made into the choker necklace it is today.
Since Diana passed away, the necklace was returned to the royal collection and even been part of various exhibitions.
However, the necklace is once again being worn by a Princess of Wales and is certainly garnering all of the attention it once got with its previous owner.
Princess Diana also wore the choker as a headband