British royals visit Boston with environmental award

British royals visit Boston with environmental award

LONDON (AP) — The Prince and Princess of Wales’ first overseas trip since the death of Queen Elizabeth II begins Wednesday, a chance to show the world as much who they are not as who they are.

With their three-day visit to Boston, focused on Prince William’s initiative to find next-generation environmental entrepreneurs, complemented by trips to an anti-poverty program, child development researchers and local flood defences, the pair hope to demonstrate that they aren’t the last remnants of a dying institution. Instead, Americans will see the younger face of a monarchy tackling important issues as it seeks to remain relevant in modern, multicultural Britain.

The visit comes less than three months after the death of Elizabeth, whose personal popularity has dampened criticism of the crown during her 70-year reign. King Charles III, William’s father, made it clear that it would be a lean monarchy, with less pomp and ceremony than its predecessors.

“I think it’s less about saving the Earth and more about saving the royal family,” said Arianne Chernock, a Boston University professor and expert in modern British history. “To be honest, we saw Charles as king and his first few months in that role trying to find his way, to find his way to becoming a more relevant and modern monarch. And I think we see something similar happening with William and Kate.”

Part of this reset is winning back the hearts and minds of people in America, where William’s younger brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan have dominated the media since moving to California in 2020. Harry and Meghan have slammed the royal family for alleged racism and callous treatment and have built their own media profiles by making films and podcasts for Netflix and Spotify.

Netflix series ‘The Crown’ also resurrected some of the House of Windsor’s most troubled times, including the collapse of Charles’ marriage to the late Princess Diana, William’s mother, amid mutual allegations of infidelity .

But William and Kate are keen to tell a different story, about their work on environmental issues, mental health and early childhood education.

At a gala concert celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June, William gave a speech highlighting his grandmother and father’s pioneering work on the environment, as images of jungles and oceans were projected onto the walls of Buckingham Palace behind him.

Last week, Kate wrote an opinion piece on the need to improve the lives of young children that appeared in The Daily Telegraph, one of Britain’s most influential newspapers, alongside a photo of the princess sitting cross-legged among a group of primary school children.

“Over the past 10 years, speaking with a wide range of experts about how we deal with societal issues like poor mental and physical health, I have become increasingly sure of one thing: if we want to create a healthier and happier society for future generations, we must begin by understanding and acknowledging the unique importance of the first five years of life,” she wrote.

William and Kate’s last visit to the United States was in 2014, shortly after their marriage. During this trip, the glamorous young couple were celebrated during their tour of the eastern United States

Eight years later, now in their 40s and with three young children, the prince and princess finally have a return engagement.

The choice of Boston, birthplace of President John F. Kennedy, as a destination is symbolic. Kennedy’s 1962 speech setting the goal of putting men on the moon by the end of this decade inspired William’s Earthshot Prize, aimed at finding solutions to climate change and other environmental problems of here the end of it.

The mission begins on Wednesday, when William and Kate will meet with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and tour the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and Museum with the late president’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy.

Later in the week, they will visit Roca Inc., highlighting the racial equity group’s efforts to improve the lives of young people by tackling issues such as poverty, incarceration and trauma from urban violence. . They will also visit Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, a leader in research on the long-term impact of early childhood experiences.

But throughout the journey, William’s eye will be on the Earthshot Prize.

By focusing on the environment and climate change in particular, the royal family risks striking a chord in the United States, where many people still deny the existence of man-made global warming, the official said. author, social commentator and Washington Post contributor Sally Quinn. The royal family’s ability to shine a light on the issue and fuse their fame with artists such as Billie Eilish, who is expected to headline the awards show, is likely to grab people’s attention.

At least it will put a face to the problem and make it more understandable than technical presentations from scientists, Quinn said.

“Obviously the media and the attention will be good, not just because they’re celebrities and because they’re royals, but because they’re serious people who care about the issues.” , Quinn said. “I mean, they’re not frivolous. “They’re not party animals. They don’t dance every night on tables. They are truly hard-working royals and these are issues they care about.”

Earthshot is offering £1 million ($1.2 million) in prizes to winners in five separate categories: nature conservation, clean air, revitalizing the oceans, eliminating waste and climate change. Winners and 15 runners-up also receive support to develop their projects to meet global demand.

The winners are set to be announced Friday at Boston’s MGM Music Hall in a glitzy show featuring Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle. The show will also feature videos narrated by naturalist David Attenborough and actor Cate Blanchett.

BBC’s Clara Amfo and American actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim were selected as co-hosts. Presenters of the award are actors Rami Malek, Catherine O’Hara and Shailene Woodley.

The ceremony is set to air on Sunday on the BBC in the UK, PBS in the US and Multichoice across Africa.

“We are at a time when there are a lot of possibilities for how the royal family sees itself moving forward, and everyone really feels that Kate and William are the future of this institution,” Chernock said. “And so we have to be very careful how, in the absence of Queen Elizabeth, they present themselves to the public again.”

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