Prince William enjoyed the company of some of the world’s biggest stars as the five winners of the Earthshot Prize 2023 were announced in Singapore today.
The royal, 41, perfectly co-ordinated with the ceremony’s host Hannah Waddingham, 49, – with William donning a sharp velour suit and dickie bow, while the Ted Lasso star wore a dazzling black ballgown with an emerald sash – as the pair strolled a green – not red – carpet for the 2023 Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony.
There was further glamour at the environmental prize, held at The Theatre at Mediacorp in Singapore, when Cate Blanchett, 54, looking elegant in a cream embroidered trouser suit, also posed for photos alongside the heir to the throne.
Australian wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin’s son Robert Irwin was on stage presenting awards – with US star Sterling K. Brown acting as Ms Waddingham’s co-host.
There were music idols galore present too, with British band Bastille, US group OneRepublic and singer songwriter Freya Ridings attending the event at Prince William’s invitation.
Five recipient organisations – including a marine protection charity and a soil carbon intiative – from 15 shortlisted were awarded £1million each to continue working on solutions to the climate crisis.
The organisations scooping the prestigious prize this year were announced as Acción Andina, GRST, WildAid Marine Program, S4S Technologies, and Boomitra.
On the green carpet, home-grown star Hannah Waddingham, in a resplendent trailing ballgown, arguably stole the show as she sashayed down alongside Prince William.
This year’s Eurovision host donned an over-sized poppy to mark Remembrance Sunday this weekend, striking a pose for photographers as she walked to shake hands with the royal at the star-studded event.
The star of stage and screen wore a light pink lip and subtle make-up – offering a softer contrast to the drama of her ballgown, with her famous blonde locks gently teased away from her face.
Hollywood A-lister Cate Blanchett also looked relaxed as she chatted to Prince William, the Tar actor kept her make-up minimal, letting a geometrical statement pair of gold earrings take centre stage. The actor wore her blonde hair tousled and loose.
On stage, Prince William gave an impassioned speech, telling those gathered that ‘the effects of the climate crisis have become too visible to be ignored’ and saying: ‘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.’
He said the Earthshot Prize’s finalists ‘remind us that no matter where you are on our planet the spirit of ingenuity, and the ability to inspire change, surrounds us all.’
Earlier, Prince William admitted he still believes green campaigning is ‘an uphill battle’ while wishing finalists in the prize good luck.
The Prince of Wales, together with Hannah Jones, chief executive of the Earthshot Prize, met all 15 finalists shortlisted for the awards on Tuesday morning at the base of the world famous Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay.
While there, he heard more about their projects and how the Earthshot fellowship retreat in Singapore this week has helped them.
‘CLIMATE CRISIS EFFECTS ARE TOO VISIBLE TO IGNORE’: PRINCE WILLIAM’S EARTHSHOT PRIZE 2023 SPEECH IN FULL
‘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. The light of optimism is burning bright in our Earthshot finalists.
From Boomitra, S4S, and Acción Andina, to GRST and Wildaid Marine, our winners and all our finalists remind us that no matter where you are on our planet the spirit of ingenuity, and the ability to inspire change, surrounds us all.
We express our deepest gratitude to Singapore for hosting our third Earthshot Prize ceremony. Few places demonstrate so well how the natural and urban worlds can co-exist.
A great city leveraging technology and innovation to help repair and regenerate our planet. 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.
We owe it to the generations that will follow us to work together both for their future, and for the future of our planet.
It is my belief that we will find the courage to do so. We will find the courage because we will hold onto the most powerful motivators of all: optimism and hope.’
Hearing how several of the finalists hoped to scale their projects going forwards, William praised them for their work so far, saying: ‘Campaigning activism is really hard work sometimes, it’s an uphill battle, that’s the point of Earthshot – to elevate the wonderful work you’re all doing. It’s mine and Hannah’s job to scale you up.
‘Good luck to all of you.’
William also spoke with Nidhi Pant of S4S Technologies based in India, one of the Build A Waste Free World finalists – revealing that he speaks to his children about food waste.
Her project combats food waste, rural poverty and gender inequality by helping smallholder female farmers preserve and market surplus produce, including misshapen vegetables.
He told Ms Pant: ‘It’s so important. The amount of conversations we have as a family – picking up a carrot with a funny shape and asking why it can’t be sold – it’s mad.’
With the Protect and Restore Nature finalists, the prince spoke to Manja Kargbo, founder of the Freetown the Treetown tree-preservation project in Sierra Leone, a ‘pay as you plant’ scheme for local communities.
He asked her: ‘Has this week and the fellowship been helpful, useful?’
Ms Kargbo told him: ‘It has been an amazing week, with so much energy and engagement with my cohort.’
While chatting to the Clean our Air finalists, Gunnlaugur Erlendsson, the founder and chief executive of ENSO, a London-based company that makes tyres for electric vehicles that are designed to be more sustainable and reduce pollution, asked William how he had found dragon boat racing on Monday.
Laughing, the prince replied: ‘Quite competitive, I felt it a bit in the shoulders this morning.’