Prince William Is the Surprise Guest on Cate Blanchett's New Podcast About Climate Change

William, who created the Earthshot Prize, described himself as a "stubborn optimist" when it comes to environmentalism

cate blanchett, prince william
Photo: Leigh Keily

Prince William is talking climate change — with Cate Blanchett!

The royal was a guest on the new Audible Original podcast series Climate of Change with Cate Blanchett and Danny Kennedy, where he sat down with the hosts in a solar-powered recording studio in London to discuss the importance of preserving the environment.

Prince William said his connection with the natural world "started pretty young, crediting David Attenborough documentaries as well as his grandfather Prince Philip and father Prince Charles with introducing him to the outdoors.

"I think my grandfather and my father both kind of having a deep passion and interest in this area for many years has sort of piqued my interest and my curiosity," he said. "So growing up, I was surrounded by kind of this adventure and this idea of exploring and being out in the garden. I used to spend hours climbing trees, digging ditches and all sorts of things, hiding in dens and all sorts from the garden, so I used to love being out in the wild and the wet."

Prince William, 39, also recalled his time spent in Kenya learning from experts about the wildlife and environmental challenges during his gap year before attending the University of St. Andrews.

Blanchett also asked William about his hopes for his Earthshot Prize, which aims to promote impactful approaches to the world's most pressing environmental challenges. In October, five groundbreaking projects were anointed with an award of $1.3 million each.

"It sounds like you're quite hopeful that maybe we can imagine our way and plan our way and work our way out of what seems to be a crisis," Blanchett said.

William replied, "To coin [Costa Rican diplomat] Christiana Figueres' phrase, 'stubborn optimist' — I think is sort of where I'm feeling quite like I'm at the moment. She's given me a lot of hope that this can happen, and I believe I'm seeing it with my own eyes — it's really inspiring, it's really hopeful."

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Earthshot Prize 2021 at Alexandra Palace on October 17, 2021 in London, England.
Prince William and Kate Middleton. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Mary Robinson, Adam McKay, Katy Milkman, Imogen Heap, Rutger Bregman, Jeraiza Molina, Agamemnon Otero, Becky Paisley and more will also be guests of the podcast series across six episodes.

Co-hosts and co-creators of Climate of Change Blanchett and Kennedy said: "Climate innovations are disrupting how the world operates in incredible ways, but this progress is not yet fast enough, nor is it spread equally around the world. We already have a lot of the technology we need -like solar and batteries - to keep the world under 1.5˚C and stave off the worst impacts of climate change. What we need now are more climate innovators all around the world coming up with bundles of solutions and spreading them at speed. That's why we're thrilled to shine a spotlight on some of these innovators in this podcast."

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