The Duke of Cambridge’s brainchild Earthshot Prize to find solutions to the planet’s environmental issues will have a showcase night in October

By Simon Perry
June 24, 2021 07:01 PM
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Prince William
Prince WIlliam
| Credit: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince William is getting set to help host his first-ever environmental Earthshot Prize, with organizers promising "show-stopping performances as well as never-before-seen musical collaborations" at the October 17 event at Alexandra Palace on a hill looking over London.

William's office at Kensington Palace will not say yet whether the prince will be joined by wife Kate Middleton or who is in line to perform and appear at the event, but with singer Shakira and actor Cate Blanchett on the Council helping William choose the winners, it's likely to be a star-packed, A-list evening.

Broadcast around the world, and on the BBC in the U.K., it will herald the initial five winners of the prize that William, 39, hopes will find new solutions to the issues facing the planet. Each awardee will receive $1.4 million (£1 million).

Prince William announces details of inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards
Prince William looking out over London from Alexandra Palace
| Credit: Kensington Palace

Founded by William in 2020, the idea is modelled on the Nobel Prize and draws inspiration from President Kennedy's Moonshot, which aimed to conquer space.

The night for the Earthshot Prize winners comes a month before Britain hosts the climate change conference, which will be attended by world leaders.

William said in a statement, "By hosting COP26 conference in Glasgow just weeks after our inaugural awards, the U.K. is helping lead the world in tackling climate change. London is a fantastic location to showcase this leadership, spotlight the finalists and award our very first Earthshot Prize winners."

"The awards ceremony will be a truly global event, connecting people from all over the world to celebrate these inspiring leaders and their innovations to solve the world's greatest environmental challenges."

Prince William announces details of inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards
Prince William at Alexandra Palace
| Credit: Kensington Palace

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The Earthshot Prize has been evaluating individuals, businesses and governments, and grassroots initiatives across the world to identify finalists who have come up with innovations. The finalists will be announced in July.

In April, Australian TV star Robert Irwin told PEOPLE why he was an advocate for William's prize, saying, "The Earthshot is gathering together some of the most influential voices in conservation and in science to start this really wonderful conversation about creating solutions."

Prince William meeting the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Prince William chatting with Sadiq Khan at Kensington Palace
| Credit: Kensington Palace

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whom William met at Kensington Palace last week, said of the prize winners' event: "The Earthshot Prize: London 2021 is an unprecedented opportunity to inspire all Londoners and people around the world to be part of this global effort to repair our planet. I am thrilled that our city will be the inaugural host to award the first Earthshot Prizes for these ground-breaking solutions that can help improve all of our lives."