The Prince of Wales is visiting the Asian country for the first time in 11 years to host the third-annual prize ceremony
Prince William has touched down in Singapore for the first time in more than a decade.
The Prince of Wales, 41, is set to host the third-annual Earthshot Prize ceremony on Tuesday, the first to be held in Asia. Upon landing at Changi Airport on Sunday, where he was welcomed by cheering crowds, William expressed his excitement to be visiting the country again after so long.
"It's fantastic to be back in Singapore for this year’s Earthshot Prize ceremony, after 11 years," he said in a statement.
"Singapore’s bold vision to be a leader for environmental innovation sets the standard for others to follow," he continued. "I am grateful to the Singaporean people for hosting us this week. Let us all take inspiration from the fantastic work being done here as we celebrate this year’s Earthshot Prize finalists."
William's first stop was to pay a visit to the Jewel, a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex linked to one of the airport's passenger terminals. The Jewel, which opened in 2019, famously houses the world's tallest indoor waterfall — the HSBC Rain Vortex — surrounded by terraced gardens and trees.
In honor of the Earthshot ceremony this week, the fountain has been illuminated green. According to the Associated Press, William stood on an upper floor to take in the view of the 40-meter-high water feature. He was also shown a tree planted in his honor at the foot of the Rain Vortex.
William last visited Singapore in 2012 with wife Kate Middleton. This time, he's traveling solo, as the Princess of Wales, 41, opted to stay home to support their eldest child, Prince George, 10, who is preparing for some important school exams.
In between his Earthshot Prize commitments, William is scheduled to take part in the popular local sport of dragon boating. He is also expected to attend the United for Wildlife Global Summit, a convening of international leaders from conservation, government, law enforcement and the private sector to discuss solutions for combatting the illegal wildlife trade.
William and his Royal Foundation charity launched the Earthshot Prize in 2020 with the goal of fostering innovative solutions and technologies to fight climate change and other environmental challenges. The prince will be at Tuesday's star-studded awards ceremony walking the green carpet along with actress Cate Blanchett and musical guests.
Sharing the hosting duties for the evening will be three-time Emmy Award winning actor and producer Sterling K. Brown (who was announced by organizers on Sunday) and British actress Hannah Waddingham, best known for her role in Ted Lasso.
Waddingham, 49, said she is "thrilled" to be involved in the event. "The work of the 2023 Prize Finalists is a hopeful reminder of the power of optimism, innovation and human ingenuity," she said in a statement. "It is an enormous honor to be joining forces with the Prince of Wales for this exciting evening and to play a part in sharing the finalists’ inspiring stories and solutions with the world."
Earthshot Prize Council Member Cate Blanchett will present one of the awards. In addition, Lana Condor and Robert Irwin will take turns introducing the five winners of the prize, who will each receive $1.2 million to fund their projects. The event will also feature musical performances by One Republic and Bastille.
In a statement, Blanchett, 54, spoke about the tremendous impact of the Earthshot Prize recipients' work. “The climate solutions showcased by the prize are wildly exciting — exciting because they are so simple, so possible, and so inevitable," she said. "The solutions are game-changing, and like all truly game-changing ideas, they have a strange ‘how could we not have thought and implemented this before?!’ quality.”
Last month, it was announced that Prince William had written a foreward for the new book A Handbook for Dreamers and Thinkers: Solutions to Repair Our Planet. In it, he detailed his inspiration for creating the Earthshot Prize.
"In the 1960s, the world looked to the skies as the great unknown, and the American president John F. Kennedy set a Moonshot challenge...encouraging scientists, innovators and businesses to come together to put a person on the moon," he wrote.
"Right now, we need to shoot for the EARTH. Our planet is the only home we have, and we must think big and dream bigger if we are to protect it."
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This year's Earthshot Prize ceremony will be broadcast in the U.S. on PBS on Nov. 12. The show also will be available to stream on YouTube.
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