Prince William hails environmental protection, a "dear cause" to Elizabeth II

Prince William spoke on video at a New York event to present a prize for research into the climate crisis.

Prince William on Wednesday hailed actors who are committed to protecting the environment, a “cause dear to (his) grandmother” the late Queen Elizabeth II. It was William’s first official speech under his new title of Prince of Wales – which he obtained after his father Charles III acceded to the throne – since the monarch’s death on September 8 at the age of 96.

The heir to the throne spoke in a pre-recorded video at a pre-event for the Earthshot Prize, which he created last year and which rewards projects that offer solutions to the climate crisis. He was originally scheduled to travel to New York for the prize, but gave up the trip after the death of Elizabeth II.

“Although it is in the saddest of contexts (…) I am happy to be able to be there on video”, he declared two days after the funeral with great pomp of his grandmother, saluting “the enthusiasm, optimism and commitment” of the actors of this prize.

First speech as Prince of Wales

“Environmental protection was a cause dear to my grandmother and I know she would have been delighted to hear about this event,” he added. “Together, we must ensure that the transition to durable solutions is the fastest change the world has ever seen.”

The prince had presented the first edition of this prize in London in October last year. He is not the only one in the royal family to regularly commit to the environment: his grandfather Philip has long chaired WWF and his father King Charles III is often described as an environmentalist before his time.

This is William’s first speech since becoming Prince of Wales. After the death of his grandmother, he had published a press release written in tribute to Elizabeth II, believing that it would “take time to get used to the reality of life without grandma”.

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