Prince William and the rest of the royal family are in an official period of mourning right now, which means any planned engagements they had this week are off. That means Prince William's planned trip to New York City for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit was cancelled.
Yet, the new Prince of Wales pre-recorded a speech to play during the summit, and it was clear it was recorded following Queen Elizabeth's death. "During this time of grief, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to The Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve," Prince William said.
William also spoke of John F. Kennedy and the power of Moonshot. "As the Moonshot inspired a great decade of technological transformation, our Earthshot decade must inspire action, creativity and collaboration around the globe," the Prince of Wales said.
In December, Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, are set to travel to Boston for the second annual Earthshot Prize. It will be the Waleses first trip to the U.S. since 2014.
Below, read Prince William's full address at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit this morning.
Read Prince William's full speech:
Good morning everyone. Although it is the saddest of circumstances that means I cannot join you in person today, I am pleased to be able to join you in video form as you gather in New York for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.
Thank you to Jacinda and Mike for their very generous words.
I am very grateful to the whole team at Bloomberg for hosting you all. During this time of grief, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to The Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve. Protecting the environment was a cause close to my Grandmother’s heart, and I know she would have been delighted to hear about this event and the support you are all giving our Earthshot Finalists—the next generation of environmental pioneers.
Together in this room, are the people and organisations who will help us to achieve the Earthshot mission: to repair, restore and rejuvenate our planet within this current decade.
That mission is not simple.
Just as President John F. Kennedy so famously said, as he challenged the United States of America to unite behind the goal of putting man on the moon, 'we choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.'
I know that the world is an uncertain place right now. That many families and communities across the globe are facing unimaginable challenges—from conflict to energy crises and food shortages. While addressing these in the short-term, we must also remain resolutely focused on tackling the greatest challenges that threaten our tomorrow. Because if we don’t, the changing climate will only serve to entrench these immediate challenges into fundamental global issues, severely impacting the lives of each and every one of us.
That is why our collective mission is so urgent.
But, there is huge reason to be optimistic. The 2021 cohort of Earthshot Winners and Finalists is evidence that we can succeed. That we can protect our world for our children, our grandchildren and the generations that will follow them. These pioneers exemplify the leadership needed in this decade of change. They include inspiring activists, brilliant innovators, a forward-thinking city and even an entire country making a real difference.
But they cannot do it alone. This must be a team effort. We must come together behind their innovative solutions to ensure they reach their full potential with pace and scale. We must collaborate in new ways, and we must be courageous.
And as the Moonshot inspired a great decade of technological transformation, our Earthshot decade must inspire action, creativity and collaboration around the globe. Together, we need to ensure the transition to sustainable solutions is the fastest and most endemic change the world has ever known. I know that by discovering, awarding, celebrating, and scaling solutions that repair and regenerate our planet we can inspire that urgent action.
So today, as you hear the incredible stories of last year’s Finalists, I invite each of you to join me on this journey. Because this is just the start. In a few weeks’ time, we will unveil our 2022 Finalists—before we take the next step in our mission and head to Boston to announce the second annual cohort of Earthshot Prize Winners.
I can think of no better home for The Earthshot Prize in its second year than the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy, from whom we have taken so much inspiration. I’m delighted that his daughter, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, is with you at the summit today.
Both Catherine and I are so excited to be coming to Boston in December and we look forward to seeing you all very soon. Thank you.
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