September 24, 2022

NEW YORK ― Prince William spoke about his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, in his first statement since the sovereign’s funeral earlier this week.

In a pre-recorded speech, the Prince of Wales addressed the audience at the 2022 Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York, saying the environment “was a cause close to my grandmother’s heart”.

“While it is the saddest circumstances that mean I cannot join you in person today, I am glad to be able to join you via video,” he said.

“During this time of sadness, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to The Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve,” said William, who launched the environmental prizes at the turn of 2019 into 2020.

“Environmentalism was a cause close to my grandmother’s heart and I know she would be delighted to hear about this event,” the royal added, noting that he and Kate Middleton are “so excited to be coming to Boston in December, and we look forward to we will see you all very soon” at the awards ceremony.

The Prince of Wales delivered a pre-recorded message at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit on Wednesday.
The Prince of Wales delivered a pre-recorded message at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit on Wednesday.

Earthshot Prize/Bloomberg Philanthropies

William was due to attend the event in person on Wednesday, before Elizabeth’s death on September 8

The royal family still observes a period of mourning, which lasts seven days after the Queen’s funeral. Despite the royal period of mourning, it was “very symbolic” that the prince still made a virtual appearance at the event, says Hannah Jones, Executive Director of The Earthshot Prize.

“Obviously this has been a very, very difficult time for him and his family, but I think you should take it as very symbolic that the first thing he’s announcing out of mourning for the nation is to engage here,” Jones told HuffPost. . at The Plaza Hotel, where the summit was held.

“This is in the legacy of the Queen—Her Majesty, his grandmother. That’s his grandfather’s legacy,” Jones said, referring to the late Prince Philip.

“That’s what his father is [King Charles III] what he was working on, what he is working on now. They think long term. Prince William is thinking about the generations ahead,” she added, describing the Prince of Wales as “highly engaged, determined and motivated” and a “tremendous source of energy” for those at Earthshot.

Jones’ comments echoed those of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies, partnered with Earthshot for the summit, which aimed to “drive impact for systems-changing climate solutions.”

Bloomberg said he recently spoke with the royal family and knows “how much he wants to be here today.”

“But there is no better way to honor the remarkable life of our grandmother Queen Elizabeth than to gather here in support of the work she is leading on an issue that meant so much to her,” he said to applause, calling the global initiative “a testament to Queen Elizabeth’s legacy.” .

“I know that both Prince William and King Charles are determined to continue that legacy,” he added.

The Earthshot Award takes its name and inspiration from former President John F. Kennedy’s famous effort to land a man on the moon in the 1960s.

The Prince and Princes of Wales attend the 2021 Earthshot Prize ceremony on October 17 in London.
The Prince and Princes of Wales attend the 2021 Earthshot Prize ceremony on October 17 in London.

Samir Hussein via Getty Images

The Prince’s Environmental Awards initiative is “designed to drive change and help fix our planet over the next ten years”. Each of the five winners receives £1 million ($1.1 million) a year for their innovative solutions and ideas.

The 2022 awards will be held on December 2 in Boston, in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Mayor Michelle Wu and the city itself.

Actor Matt Damon, who spoke at the summit in New York and is from Boston, praised his hometown’s sustainability efforts, calling it “the greatest city in America.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Mayor,” Damon said with a smile as he turned to Bloomberg, adding: [Boston Red] Sox is terrible. I have something to say.”

The December event will be “a sustainably produced award ceremony featuring some of the biggest names in music, activism and entertainment,” said Jones, executive director of the Earthshot Prize, in her opening remarks at the summit.

The organization is aware of its footprint and will try to minimize it for the awards, she said.

“We’re not going to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. This is the path of sustainability: It is a journey of progress,” she added. “But our goal is to always make sure we incorporate sustainable thinking into everything we do.”

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