Prince William focuses US trip on climate amid row with Harry

LONDON (AP) — Prince William and the Princess of Wales will seek to focus attention on the Earthshot Prize for environmental innovators when they make their first visit to the United States in eight years this week, a trip marred by tensions with their brother of William, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, who have criticized Britain’s royal family in the American press.

William and his wife Catherine will travel to Boston on Wednesday for three days of public engagements before announcing the award winners on Friday in a ceremony hosted by pop star Billie Eilish.

Boston, the birthplace of John F. Kennedy, was chosen to host the second annual awards ceremony because the late president’s 1962 “moonshot” speech — challenging Americans to reach the moon by the end of the decade – inspired the prince and his partners. to set a similar target for finding solutions to climate change and other environmental problems by 2030. The first Earthshot awards were presented last year in London, just before the UK hosted the COP26 climate conference.

But as much as the royal family tries to focus on the prize, William is likely to face questions about Harry and Meghan, who have criticized the royal family for racism and insensitive treatment in interviews with Oprah Winfrey and other US media. The Netflix series “The Crown” has also revived some of the House of Windsor’s tumultuous times, as the royal family tries to show it remains relevant in modern, multicultural Britain after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

“You could say that the royal family, particularly as far as America is concerned, has had a bit of a bumpy ride lately,” said Joe Little, editor of Majesty Magazine. “They got a lot of criticism on the back of ‘The Crown’ and also the interview with Oprah Winfrey, which didn’t particularly reflect on the House of Windsor, so I think it’s a good opportunity while I’m in the US… to redress the balance if possible’.

Whatever those efforts are, they will take place in and around Boston, where William and Kate will stay for their entire visit.

The royal couple will keep the spotlight on environmental issues, meeting with local organizations responding to sea level rise in Boston and visiting Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts, an incubator center where local entrepreneurs are working on climate change projects.

But they’ll also tackle broader issues, using their star power to highlight the work of Roca Inc., which seeks to improve the lives of young people by addressing issues like racism, poverty and incarceration. They will also visit Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child, a leader in research on the long-term impact of early childhood experiences.

William and Kate will also meet with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and Museum with the late president’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy.

“The Prince and Princess are looking forward to spending time in Boston and learning more about the issues affecting local people, as well as celebrating the incredible climate solutions that will be highlighted through the Earthshot Award,” their Kensington Palace office. said in a statement.

Earthshot is offering £1 million ($1.2 million) in prize money to winners in five separate categories: nature protection, clean air, ocean revitalization, waste disposal and climate change. The winners and all 15 finalists also receive help scaling up their projects to meet global demand.

Among the finalists is a Kenyan startup that aims to provide cleaner-burning stoves to make cooking safer and reduce indoor air pollution. It was the brainchild of Charlot Magayi, who grew up in one of Nairobi’s biggest slums and sold charcoal for fuel.

When her daughter was badly burned by a coal stove in 2012, she developed a stove that uses a safer fuel made from a combination of coal, wood and sugarcane. Stoves reduce costs for users, reduce toxic emissions and reduce the risk of burns, Magayi says.

Other finalists include Fleather, a project from India creating a leather alternative from floral waste; Hutan, an effort to protect orangutans in Malaysia; and SeaForester, which seeks to restore kelp forests that sequester carbon and promote biodiversity.

The winners will be announced at Boston’s MGM Music Hall on Friday as part of a glitzy show headlined by Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle. It will include a video narrated by naturalist David Attenborough and actor Cate Blanchett.

The awards will be presented by actor Rami Malek, comedian Catherine O’Hara and actor and activist Shailene Woodley. The show will be co-hosted by the BBC’s Clara Amfo and American actor and producer Daniel Dae Kim.

The ceremony will be broadcast on Sunday on the BBC in the UK, PBS in the US and Multichoice across Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *