Innovators Assemble! Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Charles Welcome Global Powerhouses to Windsor

On the heels of Prince William's inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards, the royals brought together international leaders to share some home truths about the urgency of the climate crisis

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2L) and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (4L) greets guests including US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry (C) and Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates (R) during a reception to mark the Global Investment Summit, at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on October 19, 2021.
Queen Elizabeth at the reception on Tuesday evening. Photo: ARTHUR EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty

The royals assembled an Avengers-level brain trust at Windsor Castle on Tuesday to advance their environmental goals on a global scale.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William welcomed international business and investment leaders to St. George's Hall for a Global Investment Summit reception. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent also joined the event, formally receiving U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and summit attendees including Bill Gates and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

The Summit, which was organized by the U.K. government, aims to "showcase the best of British innovation and highlight the U.K.'s role in green investment and clean technologies, to some of the most senior and influential business leaders from all over the world," according to a statement from the palace.

Royals at Global Investment Summit

Ahead of the reception, the Queen, 95, released her the foreword she wrote for the official brochure, which highlighted previous examples of British innovation and illustrated how people's ability to connect has helped them navigate historic challenges.

The COVID pandemic "has often threatened what we have all previously taken for granted: the opportunity to be, work, and grow together," she wrote. "Yet, in the face of these challenges, I have been inspired by countless stories of overcoming these hurdles. We have learned to connect with each other through innovative technologies and ... achieved scientific breakthroughs faster than was ever expected."

Royals at Global Investment Summit

Mentioning the history-shaping achievements of British computer pioneer Alan Turing, the foreword continued, "The challenge of today, however, is not in breaking a code. It is in working together across the globe to avert the challenges of climate change. It is our shared responsibility, of those in government, business, and civil society, to rise to this challenge."

She praised recent steps forward "to secure a sustainable future, yet there is still much more to do. This summit is not just a showcase, but an opportunity to come together and, in the generous spirit of collaboration, forge new partnerships. I invite you all to share in this spirit and wish that today brings the innovation of tomorrow."

Royals at Global Investment Summit
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Tuesday's reception was another important event in support of the royals' continued focus on climate issues ahead of the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference in November.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince William</a>, 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

On Sunday, William and wife Kate Middleton walked the green carpet at William's inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards, which rewarded five sets of environmental innovators from around the globe with $1.3 million apiece to advance and scale up their work fighting the climate crisis.

"For too long, we haven't done enough to protect the planet for your future. The Earthshot is for you. In the next 10 years we are going to act, we are going to find the solutions to repair our planet," William, 39, told attendees on Sunday. "Please keep learning, keep demanding change, and don't give up hope. We will rise to these challenges."

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