The Earthshot Prize CEO has revealed how Prince William is “getting more and more ambitious for change and impact”.
Hannah Jones told PEOPLE the Prince of Wales, 40, is “really committed to this vision” after first launching the global environmental competition in October 2020.
Inspired by Kennedy’s Moon Shot proposal in the 1960s, which put the first man on the moon and led to the development of new technology, the Earthshot Prize is set to award £50million in prize money over 10 years.
William was due to travel to New York to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit on Wednesday as part of the countdown to the US awards in December.
But in a pre-recorded message played at the meeting, he described the “sadest circumstances” following the Queen’s death, as he and his family continue to observe a period of mourning for the late monarch.
The Earthshot Prize CEO has revealed how Prince William (pictured) is ‘growing more ambitious for change and impact’
Hannah Jones has told PEOPLE the Prince of Wales (pictured at the Queen’s Committal Service on Monday), 40, is ‘really committed to this vision’ after first launching the global environmental competition in October 2020
Hannah said: “The prince never gets more ambitious for change and impact. It’s absolutely fantastic.
“He is really committed to this vision, which is that we should come up with incredible solutions, bring them to light, attribute some of them. Think of us as a catalyst for change.
“Prince William often uses sporting analogies,” she said of the royal, who is chairman of the Football Association. “What really drives him is the feeling that we are part of a bigger team and that we work as a team.”
She noted that the team refers to the Global Earthshot Prize Alliance partners and “he means city mayors, he means government”, and how everyone can come together around a common vision.
The Prince of Wales spoke of the “great comfort” he found in the enthusiasm of those supporting the environmental prize he founded, in a recorded message the day after the Queen’s funeral.
William was due to make a solo trip to the United States on September 21, where he would have been joined by previous winners of his global environmental competition.
William was due to travel to New York to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit on Wednesday as part of the countdown to the US awards in December. But in a pre-recorded message (pictured) shown at the meeting, he described the ‘sadest circumstances’ following the Queen’s death, as he and his family continue to observe a period of mourning for the late monarch.
In a video, recorded at the Windsor Estate on Tuesday and released on Wednesday, the Prince said he thought the Queen would have “been delighted to hear about” the summit.
In a virtual message to those gathered in New York for the event, William said: ‘Although this is the saddest of circumstances which means that I cannot join you in person today, I am happy to be able to join in video form as you gather in New York for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.
He added: “During this time of grief, I am very heartened by your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to the Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve.
“Environmental protection was a cause close to my grandmother’s heart. And I know she would have been thrilled to hear about this event and the support you all give to our Earthshot finalists, the next generation of environmental trailblazers.
The Royal Family continues their period of mourning for the Queen, to be observed up to seven days after the funeral.
The Prince and Princess of Wales view floral tributes left at the entrance to Sandringham House, Queen Elizabeth II’s Norfolk estate, September 15, 2022
The Earthshot Prize was founded by William and his Royal Foundation in 2020, and in July this year the project became an independent charity, with the prince as chairman.
The second Earthshot Awards ceremony will be held in Boston in December, following the inaugural event at London’s Alexandra Palace last year.
William said he and the Princess of Wales were “so excited” to be heading to Boston.
He last visited the United States in 2014 when he traveled to New York with Kate, who was then pregnant with Princess Charlotte, for a three-day tour.
In his message, William acknowledged that the world is “an uncertain place right now”, noting that many people “are facing unimaginable challenges – from conflict to energy crises and food shortages”.
He said: “While addressing them in the short term, we must also remain resolutely focused on solving the biggest challenges that threaten our future.
The second Earthshot Awards ceremony will be held in Boston in December, following the inaugural event at London’s Alexandra Palace last year. William said he and the Princess of Wales were “so excited” to be heading to Boston. Pictured, the couple at last year’s event in London
“Because if we don’t, climate change will only serve to root these immediate challenges in fundamental global issues, seriously affecting the lives of all of us. This is why our collective mission is so urgent.
But on a more optimistic tone, William insisted that “we can protect our world for our children, our grandchildren and the generations that will follow them”, quoting the cohort of Earthshot winners and finalists from the last year, whom he described as “inspiring activists” and “brilliant innovators”.
Urging people to work together, he called for a ‘team effort’, adding: ‘We need to unite behind their innovative solutions to ensure they reach their full potential with pace and scale. We have to collaborate in new ways and we have to be brave.
William said the Earthshot Decade “should inspire action, creativity and collaboration around the world” and called on people to “ensure that the transition to sustainable solutions is the fastest and most endemic that the world has ever known”.