Why the Last Stop of Prince William and Kate Middleton's Caribbean Tour Was Personal for William

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traveled to Grand Bahama for the final outing of their week-long tour

prince william and kate middleton
Kate Middleton and Prince William. Photo: getty

For the final stop on their eight-day Caribbean tour, Prince William and Kate Middleton made a visit that's close to the Duke of Cambridge's heart.

The royal couple paid a visit to 2021 Earthshot Prize Winner, Coral Vita, on Grand Bahama. The outing marked the first time that William has visited the site of an Earthshot Prize Winner or Finalist.

For her final day of outings, Kate wore a bright pink dress by the British brand RIXO, wedge heel espadrilles and Finlay sunglasses.

The prince launched his Earthshot Prize, an ambitious environmental program aimed at finding new ideas and technologies around the world to tackle the climate crisis, last year. Five winners will be selected each year for their contributions to environmentalism. It was first awarded in 2021 and is planned to run annually until 2030. Each winner receives a grant of £1 million to continue their environmental work.

Coral Vita was the inaugural winner of the "Revive Our Oceans" Earthshot category in recognition of their ground-breaking work to give new life to dying coral reefs.

prince william and kate middleton
Kate Middleton and Prince William.

Their approach, which utilizes an innovative restoration funding model while farming corals on land before planting them into oceans, sees coral grow up to 50 times faster than traditional methods and improves their resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Upon their arrival, William and Kate were met by co-founders, Sam Teicher and Gator Halpern who led a short tour of their facilities, including viewing different tanks where coral is growing inside.

"It's really inspiring to have a world leader of his stature put his energy and passion and focus to a movement that I think resonates so deeply with the younger generation," Halpern previously told PEOPLE.

"Sam and I have known since we were teenagers that we wanted to devote our lives to the environmental movement," he says. "And this award is an incredible way to really elevate the conversation around climate destabilization and use the influence that Prince William and really the rest of the prize council has to show how important issue this is."

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton. Samir Hussein - Pool/WireImage

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They also heard about Coral Vita's ambitious plans to preserve threatened ecosystems globally for the future, which are being supported and scaled with thanks to support from The Earthshot Prize.

The royal couple also spoke from the Coral Vita team about their humanitarian work on behalf of local communities in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and how the company recovered from the record-breaking storm, which ripped most of their coral tanks out of the farm and carried them over 30 miles away across Grand Bahama.

At a reception on Saturday, William addressed the growing calls for change in the Caribbean as he and Kate wrap their week-long tour in the region.

"With Jamaica celebrating 60 years of independence this year, and Belize celebrating 40 years of independence last year, I want to say this: We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future," he said. "Relationships evolve. Friendship endures."

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