Singer Billie Eilish will lead a stellar line-up for the Prince of Wales’ Earthshot Prize awards ceremony being hosted by the US city of Boston.
William and Kate fly to America this week for a three-day trip culminating on Friday with the prince’s “Super Bowl” moment – the staging of the awards he founded to discover and scale up environmental solutions to repair the planet.
Eilish will headline the entertainment, which includes Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Beyonce proteges Chloe x Halle, performing at the MGM Music Hall in Boston.
A royal source said: “The prize has become the prince’s Superbowl moment of the year, and he looks forward to continuing to use the platform each year to shine a light on some of the most impactful projects doing amazing things around the world to save our planet’s future.”
The Earthshot Prize is in its second year and William spoke about the project with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this week during his state visit to the UK.
Among the 15 finalists vying for £1 million awarded to each of the five category winners are a cleaner-burning stove initiative in Kenya and a bubble barrier made in the Netherlands to prevent plastics entering oceans.
There are also finalists from the UK for the first time, with two British-based entries being selected.
Notpla Hard Material – a start-up run by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez in London – makes packaging from seaweed and plants as an alternative to single-use plastic, and has already produced more than one million biodegradable takeaway food boxes for the firm Just Eat.
The other UK finalist – Low Carbon Materials, based in County Durham – uses unrecyclable plastic waste to make traditional concrete blocks carbon-zero.
The royal source said: “Inclusivity is a key part of the Earthshot’s mission. This year’s nominees are drawn from all corners of the planet, truly showcasing the best of human ingenuity. From indigenous leadership in Australia to female-led solutions in Kenya, diverse stories and solutions are at the heart of the prize.
“Inclusivity will be a key part of the wider trip too – during our time in Boston, the prince and princess will meet Boston-based indigenous leaders.”
Broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, a supporter of the Earthshot Prize since its inception, will voice the opening of the show while Oscar-winning actress and Earthshot judging panel member Cate Blanchett will narrate a lookback at the 2021 winners.
Actor Rami Malek, who played singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, will present an award as will actress Catherine O’Hara, who starred in the film Home Alone, and environmental activist and actress Shailene Woodley.
Malek said before the ceremony: “The 15 finalists of this year’s Earthshot Prize are deeply inspiring. They are dedicating their lives to building solutions that will repair our planet, and I can’t wait to present an award to one of the incredible Winners for 2022.”
Annie Lennox said: “The urgent need to protect and restore our Earth’s damaged environmental systems is essential for future survival. The objective of the Earthshot Prize is powerful in terms of building a waste-free world and reviving our oceans. I’m therefore honoured to lend my voice in support of this ambitious mission.”
William and Kate are also keen to meet members of many local communities during their visit to a city famed for its Irish community, sporting heritage and history.
The couple are said to be excited about their first international trip since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales, titles with a long history, but they are keen to forge their own paths.
During their visit William and Kate will attend a special event with the Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, and the prince will visit the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum with Caroline Kennedy, the former president’s daughter,
The prince and princess will learn about the work that local organisations are doing to mitigate the risk of rising sea levels to Boston, and when they tour the Greentown Labs, in the nearby town of Somerville, will get an insight into the development of innovative green technologies.
At the premises of Roca, a non-profit organisation supporting disadvantaged young people, they will hear about the issues they face and Kate, who launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in 2021, will visit the Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard University.