Prince Charles: I'm proud of William for his ambition and commitment to the environment

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The two princes posed for the Duchess of Cambridge’s camera last year
The two princes posed for the Duchess of Cambridge’s camera last year

The Prince of Wales has said he is “very proud” of his elder son’s environmental campaigning, ahead of his eco awards launch.

The Duke of Cambridge will on Sunday host his inaugural Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, which will give out £50million over the next decade to inventors and pioneers trying to save the planet.

Speaking ahead of the awards, in a rare public declaration of affection, the Prince of Wales said: “I am very proud of my son, William, for his growing commitment to the environment and the bold ambition of The Earthshot Prize.

“As a world, we need to come together to inspire, reimagine and build the sustainable future we so desperately need.

“Over the coming decade, with future generations in mind, The Earthshot Prize, and its inspirational nominees, will help us find the innovative solutions.”

Referring to his own project, a charter to make the private sector more environmentally friendly, he added: “In parallel, through my Terra Carta and Sustainable Markets Initiative, we will work to mobilize the trillions of dollars required to transition the global economy onto a more sustainable trajectory.

“Together, with all those who join us, we have a real opportunity to deliver a brighter future for humanity while restoring harmony between Nature, People and Planet.”

Close bond at the heart of the Royal family

The comments are a reflection on the close relationship between father and son.

Their relationship has not always been easy, but the last few years have seen growing public affection between them and shared decision-making at the heart of the Royal family.

In 2020, the pair approved the release of a warm picture of them, Prince Charles’ head resting on Prince William’s shoulder as they posed for the Duchess of Cambridge’s camera in the countryside.

With the Duke of Sussex now living in California, campaigning for the environment on his own terms, Prince Charles and Prince William’s project have become ever more closely aligned.

Five winners of the Earthshot Prize will be announced this evening, with Sir David Attenborough due to address the audience and awards handed out by VIP guests including the Duchess of Cambridge, Dame Emma Thompson, actor David Oyelowo, footballer Mo Salah and actress Emma Watson.

The ceremony will open with a short film from the Duke of Cambridge, recorded in the London Eye.

The awards ceremony will open with a short film of the Duke of Cambridge, recorded in the London Eye
The awards ceremony will open with a short film of the Duke of Cambridge, recorded in the London Eye

“We are alive in the most consequential time in human history,” he will say.

“The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand.

“A decade doesn’t seem long, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable.

“Many of the answers are already out there... but we need everyone – from all parts of society - to raise their ambition and unite in repairing our planet.

The future is ours to determine. And if we set our minds to it, nothing is impossible.”

The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm.

Kensington Palace promised it would see “incredible performances, stunning story-telling, and state-of-the-art technology”, aimed at “turning the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism by celebrating the people and places driving change”.

Star-studded event

Hosted by broadcasters Clara Amfo and Dermot O’Leary, the event will include performances from Ed Sheeran, KSI and Yemi Alade, and Shawn Mendes.

A set by Coldplay, from outside of Alexandra Palace, will use energy powered by 60 cyclists.

Last week, the Telegraph revealed that the night promises to be the “greenest” awards ceremony ever, from low energy lighting to reusable sets, plant-based canapes, paperless speeches and a workforce committed to arriving at the venue by public transport or bicycle.

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