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The Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Catherine, both 40, enjoyed a whirlwind three-day visit to Boston which culminated Friday night with the second annual awards ceremony at MGM Music Hall for William’s passion project, the Earthshot Prize, in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
The charity, created by Prince William and the Royal Foundation in 2020, challenges entrepreneurs to find solutions to top environmental issues facing the world today. Five winners were awarded £1million prize money and access to a global support network to realize their visions.
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Several stars walked the “green” carpet (made of recyclable materials), including cohosts award-winning broadcaster Clara Amfo and Lost and Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim, Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek, Catherine O’Hara of Schitt’s Creek fame and British soccer star David Beckham.
This was the first visit the royal couple have made to the U.S. since 2014, and the first since the death of William’s beloved grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in September. Many royal-watchers viewed the trip as an opportunity for the younger royals to pick up the scepter from the older generation and show a more modern, forward-thinking face to the monarchy.
Welcome to Boston
Prince William and Princess Catherine presented a united — and smiling — front, with Catherine in an eye-catching dark purple pantsuit and a turtleneck with diamond drop earrings and William in a smart suit and tie. The prince shared a personal statement upon arrival, thanking the Boston citizens for their tributes to his late grandmother.
“My grandmother was one of life’s optimists. And so am I,” he wrote. “That is why last year we launched the Earthshot Prize with the ambition to create a truly global platform to inspire hope and urgent optimism as we look to save the future of our planet.
“To the people of Boston, thank you. I’m so grateful to you for allowing us to host the second year of the Earthshot Prize in your great city. Catherine and I can’t wait to meet many of you in the days ahead.”
Lighting Up the Night
First stop: City Hall. The royal couple join Governor-elect Maura Healey in pushing a button to light up City Hall and several other landmarks throughout Boston in green. The Prince of Wales, who elicited cheers when he thanked “hardy Bostonians” for braving the rain, told the gathered crowd why Boston was the logical choice to host the second annual Earthshot event. “It was [President John F. Kennedy’s] “moon shot” speech that inspired me to launch the Earthshot Prize with the aim of doing the same for climate change as President Kennedy did for the space race,” he said. “And where better to hold this year’s awards ceremony than in President Kennedy’s hometown, in partnership with his daughter and the foundation that continues his legacy.”
William and Catherine sat courtside at an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat at TD Garden. The couple also met with representatives of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, a charitable initiative that allows the team to partner with nonprofits to provide services to at-risk children in the New England community.
The Princess of Wales, in a berry-colored pantsuit and matching handbag, arrives Thursday for a visit to Greentown Labs, the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America.
Prince William and Princess Kate gather flowers from well-wishers during a trip to Roca, a nonprofit located in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Roca engages high-risk youths at the center of urban violence and works with police and other community leaders to help reduce trauma and incarceration while seeking long-term employment for the young adults.
William and Kate don overcoats and scarves to meet with Mayor Michelle Wu and Rev. Mariama White-Hammond (far right) in east Boston to discuss rising sea levels and the environmental impact on the Boston shoreline.