February 4, 2023

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Prince William and Kate to visit US for climate change prize

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In their first international trip since becoming Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Catherine will visit the US this week for an environmental prize.

The royal couple will show their support for finding ways to tackle climate change, at the second annual Earthshot Prize awards in Boston.

Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle are among the performers taking part.

Environmental campaigner Sir David Attenborough will also be contributing.

The awards were launched by Prince William last year and the trip to Boston will be his first big international appearance since becoming Prince of Wales.

As well as the prize ceremony on Friday, Prince William and Catherine will be on show in front of the US public, which in recent months will have seen much coverage of the Royal Family, ranging from the Queen’s funeral to the Netflix drama The Crown, to stories about Prince Harry and Meghan.

Prince William will be seen as taking on the environmental mantle from his father, King Charles. But he will also be setting out his own stall, showing how much he wants to engage in green issues.

He will want to move the US royal coverage away from the gossip pages and on to more serious matters, using the days before the award to visit projects for the disadvantaged in Boston, and to see green technology schemes.

Prince William has said the Earth is at a “tipping point” and the awards are intended to support innovative ways of reducing environmental damage.

It will be a mix of good causes and show business – presenters at the televised award ceremony include Rami Malek, Catherine O’Hara, Shailene Woodley, Clara Amfo and Daniel Dae Kim.

There are five prizes for innovative environmental projects, each award worth £1m, in an event that will emphasise inclusion, diversity and a global outlook.

The Earthshot name for the prizes is an echo of the “Moonshot” ambition of US president John F Kennedy, from a speech in 1962, and it will try to evoke some of the optimism of the era of the young president.

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills,” President Kennedy had said.

This year’s prize will be given in President Kennedy’s Boston heartland, and in partnership with the city’s John F Kennedy Library Foundation.

Another royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are also involved in a US prize related to the Kennedys.

Next week they are due to receive an award in New York from the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights foundation, set up in honour of the former president’s brother and US senator, who was assassinated in 1968.

But in terms of whether the couples will meet in the US, the Prince and Princess of Wales are said to be firmly focused on their own awards this week.

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