Kate Middleton and Prince William Share a Sweet Moment Backstage in New Photo at Earthshot Awards

Kate "obviously felt really proud" of her husband at the ceremony, photographer Chris Jackson tells PEOPLE

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty

Kate Middleton and Prince William are a royal power couple!

The parents of three hit the green carpet on Sunday for the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards, an environmental initiative launched by William — and on Wednesday, their office shared three previously unseen photos from the big night.

One black-and-white shot shows off the couple's adorable bond, with Kate supportively putting her arm around her husband's lower back as William leans in close to talk. (In another rare PDA moment from the ceremony, royals photographer Chris Jackson spotted the duo holding hands with big grins across their faces.)

In addition to sharing stunning exclusive photos from behind the scenes of the awards ceremony, Jackson tells PEOPLE, "The Duchess obviously felt really proud of what [Prince William] had achieved with this project. Seeing firsthand this realization of this huge amount of work for him. It was a really special evening."

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton and Prince William. Chris Jackson/Getty

"These two have an incredible ability to shine a spotlight on global issues — and to work on this and make it happen has clearly been a big thing for [the Duke]," the photographer adds.

For more on what Prince William told PEOPLE about his Earthshot initiative and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

Kate and Prince William, 39, also shared two additional photos: one shows them smiling as they emerge from behind a curtain, while another shows a silhouette of William as he waits backstage.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William. Chris Jackson/Getty

Prince William tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story that the "urgency of the situation can't be overstated," prompting him to create the Earthshot Prize to promote impactful approaches to the world's most pressing environmental challenges.

"Seeing the incredible solutions that have been developed by the first winners of the Prize — and all of our finalists — shows us that the answers are out there," says the Duke of Cambridge. "By recognizing these efforts and supporting and scaling them to be the best they can be, we can inspire the confidence that a healthier, more sustainable future is within our grasp."

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earthshot exclusive behind the scenes photos
Kate Middleton and Prince William. Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Royal Foundation

At the end of the hour-long ceremony on Sunday, which saw five groundbreaking projects anointed with an award of $1.3 million each, William announced that the next ceremony will be in the U.S.

"This is just the start," the Duke tells PEOPLE. "I'm thrilled that in 2022, The Earthshot Prize will be heading to the United States, where we will continue to spread this vital message of urgency, optimism and action."

The Earthshot Prize Ceremony, with Emma Thompson, Emma Watson, David Oyelowo and Mo Salah among the presenters and Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes and KSI and Coldplay performing, can be viewed on discovery+. William's five films in the Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet series are also on discovery+

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