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Prince William records message and asks fans to tune into his Earthshot Prize summit in New York

Members of the royal family are returning to work today following the Queen’s death – with Prince William making his first speech since her passing with an address to the Earthshot Prize summit in New York.  

The Prince of Wales, 40, was due to travel to New York for a solo trip this week to give a speech at a conference for his environmental initiative, which aims to find solutions to repair and protect the planet.

However the royal cancelled his trip after his grandmother The Queen’s death earlier this month, and looked deeply emotional and appeared pensive throughout his grandmother’s funeral in London as well as her committal service in Windsor, on Monday. 

The Prince of Wales returned to work today as he pre-recorded a message which was played at the conference. 

In the pre-recorded message at the event, the royal began by saying: ‘Although it is the saddest circumstances that I am unable to join you today, I am able to join you in video form as you gather in New York for the Earthshot Prize innovation summit.’

He went on to confirm he and Kate would travel to Boston in December for the second Earthshot Prize award ceremony, adding they are ‘so excited.’

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 £50 million in rewards over 10 years.

Elsewhere, Prince Edward is due to arrive in Estonia tonight ahead of a two day whirlwind visit to the country.

Prince William, 40, has recorded a message for his Earthshot Prize innovation summit in New York – after the Duke cancelled his solo trip to the States following the Queen ‘s death

Edward’s visit is to ‘honour a longstanding commitment’ in Estonia and Germany in his role as Royal Colonel of 2nd Battalion The Rifles and Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. 

During the two-day visit the Earl is due to thank them for her service to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth during her time as Commander-in-Chief, and their commitment to The King as Head of the Armed Forces. 

He will also view a Condolence Book and other tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

In his speech to the Earthshot Prize summit today, Prince William said: ‘During this time of grief, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to the Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve.

He went on to confirm he and Kate would travel to Boston in December for the second Earthshot Prize award ceremony, adding they are ‘so excited’

‘Protecting the environment was of course close to my grandmother’s heart, and I know she would be delighted to hear about this event and the support you are all giving our Earthshot Prize finalists, the next generation of environmental pioneers.

‘Together in this room are the people and organisations who will help us achieve our Earthshot mission – to rejuvenate our planet within this current decade.’

He added: ‘I know the world is an unsure place right now and many families and communities across the globe are facing unimaginable challenges, from conflict to the energy crisis and food shortages.’ 

Meanwhile, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Instagram account shared a snap of the Duke appearing to record a message for the summit, which is still due to go ahead.

Elsewhere, Prince Edward is returning to work today – and due to arrive in Estonia tonight ahead of a two day whirlwind visit to Europe

The photograph showed the Duke speaking into a microphone while apparently reading from a teleprompter, alongside a link which read: ‘Tune in to the Innovation Summit.’ 

Yesterday, his environmental initiative shared a swish video on social media about the summit tomorrow in New York, with clips showing the subway, the Statue of Liberty and city’s skyline. 

The caption of the video announced details of timing of the event, adding: ‘The Earthshot Prize is in New York City.

‘It’s #ClimateWeekNYC, and we’re here with our 2021 Finalists and Winners for The Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.

‘In partnership with @bloombergdotorg, the event will focus on driving impact around ground-breaking solutions to repair our planet.’

In the pre-recorded message at the event, the royal began by saying although it was the ‘saddest circumstances’ that he couldn’t attend the summit, he was happy to be joining over video

Prince William’s environmental initiative shared a swish video on social media about the summit in New York

The video started with a member of the Earthshot Prize staff holding a sign with the name of the initiative, before revealing the New York skyline behind them 

Clips in the video included a flash of the Statue of Liberty (left) and the New York skyline (right), while the caption announced details of timings of the summit 

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 duke now its president. 

William had planned to make a solo trip to the United States on September 21, where he was due to be joined by previous winners of his £50 million global environmental competition. 

However, according to People, the Prince of Wales cancelled the trip following the death of his grandmother earlier this month. 

The Earthshot team is still co-hosting the summit, which takes place during NYC Climate Week and the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly, with Bloomberg Philanthropy. 

The summit aims to amplify The Earthshot Prize’s call to speed up efforts to repair the planet. 

William was set to deliver a speech at the conference, which will be attended by last year’s winners and finalists, The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance network, heads of state, global business leaders and philanthropists. 

It would have marked the first time William had visited America since Harry and the Duchess of Sussex decamped across the Atlantic to California after quitting the working monarchy.  

The competition aims to discover and scale up ground-breaking solutions to repair the planet and £1 million in prize money was presented to the winners in five categories or Earthshots – Protect And Restore Nature; Clean Our Air, Revive Our Oceans; Build A Waste-Free World; and Fix Our Climate.

Clips in the video, which was released ahead of the summit tomorrow, show the city’s subway (pictured) the Statue of Liberty and skyline 

Among the winners were projects restoring coral reefs, redistributing unwanted food to the disadvantaged and a project battling the issues contributing to air pollution in India.

The initiative was inspired by former US president John F Kennedy’s Moonshot project which set scientists the challenge of placing an astronaut on the moon and returning him safely – and in the process helped advance mankind’s achievements.

The John F Kennedy Library Foundation, alongside the City of Boston and its mayor Michelle Wu, will be host partners of the Earthshot Prize ceremony.

Meanwhile Prince William confirmed he and Kate will travel to the US this year – with the Earthshot Prize’s second award ceremony due to take place in Boston in December.

Meanwhile the annual award ceremony, which first launched in London in 2021 (pictured, William and Kate at the event), will take place in early December

In 2021, sources claimed William and wife Kate are ‘very focused on having a high profile in US’ after ‘their popularity took a dive because of the Oprah interview’.

Insiders told Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridgeare highly likely to make a high profile visit across the pond in an effort to boost their popularity. 

The source added: ‘[They] are aware that their popularity took a bit of a dive post the Oprah interview, and that the focus now is on getting that support back.’

During the explosive interview in March last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent shockwaves through the Royal Family when Meghan said that Kate had made her cry, and alleged one royal insider had questioned what colour their son Archie’s skin would be.

Instead of flying to the US for his Earthshot Prize summit, the Prince of Wales is in mourning for his grandmother the Queen (pictured at her funeral yesterday) 

The insider added that the couple were highly sensitive about the impact the explosive interview had on their profile.  

The Duke and Duchess’ last official visit to the US was to New York in December 2014 when Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte.  They previously visited California at the end of a tour to Canada in 2011.   

It came as the Royal Family released two poignant photo tributes to the Queen as they begin another week of mourning after a state funeral full of emotion, ceremony and symbolism that wowed and moved the world before Charles personally laid his mother to rest during a private burial last night.

Her Majesty’s long journey to her final resting place began in Balmoral on the day of her death on September 8 and ended last night with her private interment next to Prince Philip, with the new King scattering earth on his mother’s coffin at 7.30pm.

Prince William joined his wife Kate Middleton and children Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the event, as well as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The royals took to George’s Chapel for the committal service (pictured) which followed the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey 

And as she was laid to rest the royals released a tribute titled: ‘In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen’ and shared a never-before seen image of the late Monarch hiking through heathlands in her beloved Scotland and a smiling picture of her with her parents, sister and husband at Buckingham Palace.

The touching post issued via the Royal Family’s social media accounts also touched on King Charles III’s first address to the nation as monarch in which he quoted the Shakespeare’s immortal play Hamlet – ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’

Queen Elizabeth II today lies at peace for eternity in the royal vault under St George’s Chapel with her husband, father, mother and sister. 

She is the 12th British monarch to be buried at Windsor and has chosen to be with er family following the ‘Us Four’ principle pursued by her father George VI. 

He told his daughter repeatedly that following the abdication of his brother, a happy and united Royal Family was the most important thing in life after the duties of a monarch. 

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