The Prince and Princess of Wales begin visit to Boston – day 1

William and Kate are there to mark the next Earthshot Prize awards

The Prince and Princess of Wales have embarked on their first overseas visit since the passing of the Queen in September, landing in Boston yesterday.

The couple were in the city ahead of this year’s Earthshot Prize awards, which will take place on Friday.  They last visited the United States in 2014.

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In-keeping with their environmental campaigning, the Prince and Princess flew on a commercial flight from London to Logan Airport.

Upon their arrival, William issued a statement to say he and Catherine ‘were delighted to be back in the United States’. Acknowledging their first overseas tour since the death of his grandmother, the Prince thanked the people of Boston for their tributes to Elizabeth II. 

He said his ‘grandmother was one of life’s optimists’ and so was he, which was one of the reasons he ‘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.’

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William and Catherine were then taken to their hotel, where they held an Audience with Mayor Wu and her family. The couple personally thanked the Mayor for her support and work on The Earthshot Prize. 

The group discussed composting, as the Mayor and her family are currently participating in a citywide pilot programme. The Princess of Wales then asked Wu’s sons about what they are learning in school. One of the Mayor’s sons said he worked on a report about nocturnal animals.

After a brief audience and discussion, the group were then joined by Governor-elect Maura Healey to view a range of photos of the late Queen’s visit to Boston in 1976. 

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Addressing the crowd gathered outside, William thanked ‘all the hardy Bostonians braving the rain this evening’. The elements certainly tested the crowds!

He went on to say: ‘Catherine and I are absolutely delighted to be with you today, for our first engagement in the great city of Boston, as we start the countdown to The Earthshot Prize Awards this Friday. Thank you to Mayor Wu and Reverend White-Hammond, for all your support for The Earthshot Prize.

‘There are two reasons why Boston was the obvious choice to be the home of The Earthshot Prize in its second year. 60 years ago, President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” speech laid down a challenge to American innovation and ingenuity’.

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The father-of-three explained how it was his Moonshot speech that ‘inspired’ him to start The Earthshot Prize 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.’

The Earthshot Prize was launched in 2019, and was described as ‘an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet’.

The Royals then took part in an official countdown to The Earthshot Prize by lighting up 16 attractions around Boston green, including City Hall. 

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Next, William and Kate headed to the TD Garden stadium, to join 20,000 fans in cheering on the Boston Celtics at a basketball game.

Despite being met with some boos and chants of ‘USA, USA’, the couple were seen to be in good spirits and mingled with Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey and Mayor Michelle Wu.

Cheering on the high-scoring game, the couple was part of the crowd reaction that increased throughout the 17-time World Champions game against the Miami Heat.

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The Prince and Princess of Wales also met members of the ‘Celtics family’, including representatives of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, which provides grassroots programming and funding to local organisations that serve the local community.

Ollie Perrault, a 15-year-old climate activist, got to meet the royal couple after being on cheered for her work as a leading member of the Youth Climate Leadership Program. She is now the founder and director of Youth Climate Action Now, which is committed to fighting for environmental justice, and working to get more young people involved in taking action to develop solutions to tackle climate change.

The final score was 134 to the Boston Celtics and 121 to Miami Heat.

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