The 41-year-old Prince of Wales and his Royal Foundation launched the ambitious £50 million ($62 million) environmental competition back in 2020 with the goal of finding “trailblazing climate solutions to repair our planet by 2030.” Winners of the prize – now in its third year – will be revealed at a ceremony in Singapore on November 7.The prince will also be joined by former winners and finalists during the summit. The cohort will report on the progress of their projects and connect with business leaders, policymakers, philanthropists and activists who can help “scale their innovative solutions.”
For William, his prize is about taking a more optimistic approach to confronting some of the planet’s problems. As he told us back in 2020, his vision was to remove the “doom and gloom” associated with climate crisis headlines and find ways to drive change forward.
William was supposed to have gone to New York for the inaugural summit last September but pulled out following the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. In his absence, he sent a video message recorded a day after the Queen’s funeral, in which he said he had taken “great comfort” in the “enthusiasm, optimism and commitment” to his environmental award program “and what we are trying to achieve.”
Aside from his green campaigning, the prince is also expected to fill his schedule with additional engagements and meetings while in town.In addition to unveiling this year’s Earthshot finalists next week, you’re also going to see Prince William sitting down with the UN Secretary-General and other world leaders… This really is the evolution of Prince William as the global statesman,” a close aide said.
William will surely be hoping this trip is less challenging than his visit to Boston late last year. While he was “absolutely delighted” to be in Beantown, where he met US President Joe Biden, the visit was somewhat overshadowed by a racism scandal back in the UK.
This trip’s timing also appears to be quite fortuitous, in that it comes weeks after Prince William topped a new poll as America’s most popular public figure. He was given a 59% favorable rating, edging out Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his own father, King Charles, as well as coming out ahead of Biden and former President Donald Trump.
The recent Gallup poll also found William to be the most politically unifying personality, with more than six in 10 Republicans and Democrats viewing him favorably – surely a positive omen of finding a responsive and open-minded public when he’s traveling across the Atlantic to push his eco-prize.