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Prince & Princess of Wales

Prince William puts climate crisis centre stage at the third Earthshot Prize Awards


Kensington Royal/ X still/ fair use

For the third year in a row, the Prince of Wales is recognising young people and their contributions to environmentalism at the Earthshot Prize Awards—an annual event honouring five winners and granting them £1 million to continue their environmental work. 

During this year’s event in Singapore, the Prince said he believed this is the decade for collective action to protect the planet. Among the five winners were a lithium-ion battery recycler and a program to end illegal fishing. In addition, a project to preserve native high Andean forest ecosystems across South America, one to combat food waste, and a program to remove emissions and boost farmer profits were all recognised.

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In a speech, the Prince said: “The last year has been one of great change and even greater challenge. A year in which the effects of the climate crisis have become too visible to be ignored. And a year that has left so many feeling defeated, their hope dwindling. However, as we have seen tonight, hope does remain.”

Throughout his visit, Prince William touched on the negative impacts of illegal wildlife trade, specifically rhino poaching. However, he is looking forward as the United for Wildlife Movement will have a world-first International Statement of Principles. This will bring different governments together to move forward in preventing and deterring any financial activity from the illegal trade. He addressed hope during his speech at the awards:

“We hold onto the most powerful motivators of all – optimism and hope. I choose to believe that future generations will look back on this decade as the point at which we globally took collective action for our planet. The moment we refused to accept the voices of denial and defeatism, and instead, became the architects of change towards a healthy and sustainable world.”

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Actress Hannah Waddingham and actor and producer Sterling K Brown co-hosted the awards. Other attendees included Sir David Attenborough, actress Cate Blanchett, and performances from OneRepublic and Bastille. One contrast in comparison to the previous awards in London and Boston is that the Princess of Wales was not present. She stayed behind to help their eldest child, Prince George, 10, prepare for his ‘first set of major exams.’

Earlier this year, more than 1,100 applicants were narrowed down to 15 finalists by a global panel of academic, subject-matter, and scientific experts. The winners were then picked by Prince William and the Earthshot Prize Council, chaired by Christiana Figueres, an architect of the Paris Agreement.

There is no word yet on where the awards will take place in 2024.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.