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A trip to the U.S. looks like it could be on the cards for Prince William and Kate in a year’s time, it emerged tonight. The royal couple could make the journey to attend the second awards ceremony for his landmark Earthshot Prize awards, which will be held next fall in the U.S. The Prince announced that the U.S. would be hosting the awards next year during an appearance on stage tonight in north London after the five winners for 2021 were announced.
“I hope you agree that London and the U.K. has put on quite a show for our first year,” William said. “So for the second year, we need to pass the baton to a country whose leadership is essential for all five of our Earthshots. Where better than the nation that inspired the moonshot all those years ago. I’m delighted to announce that the Earthshot Prize will be heading to the United States of America in 2022.” The Prince then introduced the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, who said, “The finalists and winners that we recognize this evening remind us that we do have an incredible ability to turn the improbable into reality if we work together.”
There were no further details immediately available of where in the U.S. the ceremony would be held. It is also worth noting that no guests were flown in specially for tonight’s event, which aimed to be as sustainable as possible in every way. Kensington Palace would not confirm any details and said further information would be announced in due course.
William and Kate’s last official visit to the U.S. was to New York in December 2014 when she was pregnant with Princess Charlotte. Before that, they visited California at the end of a tour to Canada in 2011, with Kate rewearing the Alexander McQueen dress she wore then at tonight’s awards.
Guests at tonight’s event were asked to rewear existing items in their wardrobe or choose items that supported the theme of recycling and reuse. During the evening, five winners were announced, with each winner receiving £1 million to help them scale up their innovation.
The Duchess of Cambridge announced one of the winners and gave a short speech in which she emphasized the importance of the natural environment. “Nature is vital to us all. A thriving natural world regulates our climate, nurtures our physical and mental health and helps feed our families,” she said. “But for too long, we’ve neglected our wild spaces and now we’re facing a number of tipping points. If we don’t act now, we will permanently destabilize our planet and we will rob our children of the future they deserve.”
Prince William also had a message this evening for “all the young people watching tonight.” “For too long, we haven’t done enough to protect the planet for your future. The Earthshot is for you. In the next ten years we are going to act, we are going to find the solutions to repair our planet. Please keep learning, keep demanding change, and don’t give up hope. We will rise to these challenges.”
The five winners of this year’s Earthshot Prize are:
Protect and Restore Nature: The Republic of Costa Rica: A pioneering scheme paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems that has led to an incredible revival of the rainforest.
Clean our Air: Takachar, India: A cutting-edge technology to create fuel from agricultural waste and put a stop to the global air problem of crop burning.
Revive our Oceans: Coral Vita, Bahamas: An innovative approach to coral farming that can help restore our world’s dying coral reefs faster than any traditional method.
Build a Waste-free World: The City of Milan, Italy: A city-wide initiative that has dramatically cut waste while tackling hunger.
Fix our Climate: AEM Electrolyser, Thailand/Germany/Italy: An ingenious green hydrogen technology developed to transform how we power our homes and buildings.
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