The Princess of Wales showed off her green credentials as her husband’s Earthshot Prize honoured environmental pioneers – by wearing a rented gown.
Kate dazzled on the green carpet with her dress of the same hue as five innovative ideas that William hopes will help repair the planet were celebrated and awarded £1 million in prize money to scale up their projects.
The event staged this year in the US city of Boston is one of the highlights of the Prince of Wales’s official calendar and has been dubbed the future King’s “World Cup” moment by Hannah Jones, the Earthshot Prize’s chief executive officer.
Celebrities who walked the green carpet at the awards ceremony included Hollywood actor Rami Malek, former England football captain David Beckham while artists performing on the night included Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Beyonce proteges Chloe x Halle.
Malek, who presented the Fix Our Climate award, spelled out the environmental dilemma facing the planet before the ceremony, saying: “This is the greatest crisis that we are facing in our lifetime and it will probably be the greatest crisis that future generations are facing as well.
“But hopefully we can lessen that challenge for them by the actions we take right now.
“The innovation, the intelligent minds that are coming together to make changes and are being rewarded by the Earthshot Prize tonight will have a massive impact on what the world will look like.”
Organisers of Earthshot have implemented a number of green policies, from encouraging guests to dress sustainably by wearing vintage clothing or recycling outfits for future use, to ensuring the plants and flowers on display are grown locally.
Kate wore jewels from her late mother-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales and chose an emerald green Solace London dress, which was rented from the platform HURR, and glittering heels.
The awards ceremony was the culmination of a three-day visit by the royal couple to Boston which has been overshadowed by the race row that saw William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey resign as a royal aide after she repeatedly questioned a prominent black British-born domestic abuse charity boss about where she “really came from”.
A trailer promoting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix docu-series was released on Thursday, with the timing interpreted by some royal commentators as a snub to William and Kate.
Earlier, William met US president Joe Biden at the end of the royal’s visit to John F Kennedy’s Presidential Library and Museum, and held a 30-minute discussion which a Kensington Palace spokesman described as “warm, friendly and substantive”.
The spokesman said Mr Biden was keen to learn about Earthshot and some of the stories from the finalists, including the Great Bubble Barrier, a 2022 finalist in the Revive Our Oceans category.
Kate presented the Clean Our Air award to Mukuru Clean Stoves, Kenya – a start-up providing cleaner-burning stoves to women in Kenya to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook.
She told the Earthshot guests: “To breathe clean air is something so many of us take for granted, but sadly for millions of people around the world, it is not a given.
“From smoke enveloping cities to the impact seen in nature, air pollution poses a threat that knows no borders.
“Heartbreakingly over 250 million children under the age of five are breathing polluted air every single day. And this fact is even harder to hear, because we know the significant impact pollution has on our life-long development.”
Among the five finalists was UK winner Notpla, a circular solution creating an alternative to plastic packaging from seaweed which scooped the Build A Waste-Free World award.
William closed the event when he took to the stage to tell the audience: “I believe that the Earthshot solutions you have seen this evening prove we can overcome our planet’s greatest challenges.
“And by supporting and scaling them we can change our future.
“Alongside tonight’s winners and finalists, and those to be discovered over the years to come, it’s my hope the Earthshot legacy will continue to grow, helping our communities and our planet to thrive.”