Sunday, 17 October 2021

The Duchess Brings Back Classic McQueen for Earthshot Prize Awards

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony at London's Alexandra Palace this evening.

William and Kate walked the 'green carpet' upon arrival.

Created by Prince William and the Royal Foundation, the Earthshot Prize has led a global search for the most effective and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet. The Earthshot Prize has been described as "a truly global event, anchored in London and connecting with finalists and winners all over the world".

A video shared by Victoria Murphy.

The initiative was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’ programme in the 1960s, which united millions of people around the goal of reaching the Moon.

Kensington Palace said, "The Earthshot Prize aims to incentivise change and inspire collective action around our unique ability to innovate, problem solve and ultimately repair our planet over the next ten years. The Earthshot Prize is based on five ‘Earthshot’ goals: Protect and restore nature; Fix our climate; Clean our air; Revive our oceans; Build a waste free world. Five £1 million prizes will be awarded each year for the next 10 years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030." The Palace added the event is "celebration of the natural world, focussed on turning the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism by celebrating the people and places driving change  - the first-ever Earthshot Prize Finalists and Winners."

As part of the effort, a Global Alliance was formed with an array of well-known organisations and foundations, including the UN Environment Programme, WWF, the Green Belt Movement, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, National Geographic, Jeff Bezos' Earth Fund, Rob & Melani Walton Foundation, and Mike Bloomberg's philanthropies.

Presenter Dame Emma Thompson on the green carpet.

People reports:

'Presenter Emma Thompson said she came in the outfit she wore when she last saw Prince William — her suit and the badge that signifies her damehood. 

"On our little notes they said 'Please do not buy anything new for this.' Can you imagine? The relief! So I got my dame suit that I wore when I went to the palace," she shared.

Thompson also showed off a ring that her husband Greg Wise "bought me for 30 bucks in New York" and her vegan sneakers. She spoke about the evening as an opportunity to help counter the hopelessness of issues like food waste, saying, "One of the solutions is going to be here and that makes me happy."

Emma Watson chose a layered white dress crafted from a number of pieces bought in Oxfam.

With the exception of the Duchess, the look of the evening goes to Joana Sanz (wife of Earthshot Council member and footballer Dani Alves). Joana looked like a Grecian goddess in a soft pink gown with draped shoulder detail.

Hosts Dermot O'Leary and Clara Amfo with performer Yemi Alade.

Guests were seated in Alexandra Palace's incredible East Court Theatre.

The scene inside.

The intricate set design depicts space and gold leaves representing the Earthshot logo.

More from Town & Country:

'During the ceremony, a short film recorded in the London Eye will be played, in which Prince William says, "We are alive in the most consequential time in human history... The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next ten years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand. A decade doesn’t seem long, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable"

The ceremony will feature performances from artists Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, KSI and Yemi Alade, and Shawn Mendes. Coldplay’s performance, from outside of Alexandra Palace, will use energy powered by 60 cyclists.'

The Earthshot Prize Medal is inspired by the iconic 'Earthrise' photograph taken of Earth from the Moon by astronaut William Anders aboard Apollo 8 in 1968. It was selected to reflect the "beauty and fragility" of our planet.

Buckingham Palace turned green ahead of the event.

Prince Charles issued a heartfelt statement in support of Earthshot. A lifelong environmentalist and one of the earliest voices in the fight against climate change, Charles has devoted a significant portion of his life's work to protecting the planet. He wrote:

'I am very proud of my son, William, for his growing commitment to the environment and the bold ambition of the Earthshot Prize.

As a world, we need to come together to inspire, reimagine and build the sustainable future we so desperately need.

Over the coming decade, with future generations in mind, the Earthshot Prize, and its inspirational nominees, will help us find the innovative solutions.

In parallel, through my Terra Carta and Sustainable Markets Initiative, we will work to mobilise the trillions of dollars required to transition the global economy on to a more sustainable trajectory.'

The Duchess presented the award under the Protect and Restore Nature Category. Kate said: "Nature is vital to us all. A thriving natural world regulates our climate, nurtures our physical and mental health, and helps feed our families,' she told the 100-strong audience. For too long, we've neglected our wild spaces and now we're facing a number of tipping points. If we don't act now, we will permanently destabilize our planet and we will rob our children of the future they deserve. Our Earthshot Prize finalists show us, however, that we can by 2030 see the natural world growing, not shrinking, for the first time in centuries."

More from People:

'Announcing the winner, the Republic of Costa Rica, she said that country had showed "that deforestation can be turned around whilst growing your economy." Accepting it, President Carlos Quesada said, "We acknowledge that major conservation is a shared value. We accept this recognition with pride but humility. What we have achieved in this small country in central America can be done anywhere. We will continue recognizing nature as our most valuable asset advancing towards a carbon neutral in a nature positive world." 

Moments earlier, co-host Clara Amfo said they'd asked Prince William to "pull a few strings" and ask Kate to present an award. Introducing the Duchess of Cambridge, fellow co-host Dermot O'Leary said, "Thankfully he came up trumps – though I doubt this is what she had in mind when he mentioned date night."

When Kate met Emma :)

As the awards came to an end, William said: "I want to say something to all the young people watching tonight. For too long, we haven’t done enough to protect the planet for your future. But Earthshot is for you. In the next ten years we are going to act. We are going to find the solutions to repair our planet."

The Duke and Duchess speak to winners via video call. 

Chatting with guests including the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who joined the couple for a Generation Earthshot event earlier this week. 

A behind-the-scenes photo with Global Optimism co-founder Tom Rivett-Carnac. 

As noted by Dame Emma Thompson, guests were asked to choose outfits with sustainability in mind. When Kate had a look through her closet (and one can imagine what a glorious sight that is at Kensington Palace), she decided it was time to bring back the divine lilac Grecian Alexander McQueen gown she debuted a decade ago in Los Angeles for a BAFTA event. It was an incredibly special engagement, and by far the most glamorous Kate had undertaken. Kate was the toast of Tinsel Town as she mingled with the stars.

Whenever we discuss the possibility of repeating gowns, it never fails to feature in your top three choices, and it's easy to see why. It remains timeless, classic and very much a 'princess gown'.

Kate's only alteration was a change of waist belt. Instead of the shimmering piece she wore in 2011, the Duchess chose a pearl beaded style. 

Kate accessorised with stunning Kiki McDonough morganite earrings.

Kate sported her Oscar de la Renta Cabrina pumps.

We'll see the Duchess on Tuesday. Kate's due to deliver the keynote speech at an event hosted by the Forward Trust to launch the charity’s “Taking Action on Addiction” campaign.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The Cambridges Visit Kew Gardens for Generation Earthshot Event

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out this afternoon for a visit to Kew Gardens, taking part in a Generation Earthshot event with children from the Heathlands School, Hounslow, generating thoughtful, bold ideas to repair the planet and foster a lasting enthusiasm for the natural world.

Today's event comes ahead of Sunday's Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony. The star-studded night, held at Alexandra Palace, will celebrate the natural world, focusing on "turning the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism by celebrating the people and places driving change – the first-ever Earthshot Prize Finalists and Winners". Launched by Prince William and the Royal Foundation in October 2020, the Earthshot Prize has been inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’ programme in the 1960s, which united millions of people around the goal of reaching the Moon. Sunday's event will see the Duchess taking to the stage to present an award. It will air on BBC One at 8 pm and stream live via Discovery's Facebook Page.

Kensington Palace said, "The awards ceremony will celebrate the 15 incredible finalists from around the world before awarding the first five winners of The Earthshot Prize. These five solutions will have the potential to respond to the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet and will each receive £1 million to help them scale up. The first finalists of the prize include a 14-year-old inventor from India who is working to improve air quality across India, a tiny water treatment plant from Japan that turns 98% of wastewater into clean water and the country of Costa Rica for a pioneering scheme to restore the rainforest." 

The Palace added: "It comes just weeks before the UK hosts COP26 in Glasgow from October 31st to November 12th. The climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. These actions include increasing the focus on climate and environmental education within school curriculums across the world." The Cambridges are slated to attend events during COP26 in Glasgow from 1-5 November.

At the Royal Botanic Gardens, William and Kate were joined by several well-known figures, including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; explorer, naturalist and presenter Steve Backshall MBE; and Olympian Helen Glover.

They joined a group of students for a series of engaging and thought-provoking activities.

It follows the results of a survey -- the Children’s Commissioner’s Big Ask -- which found 39% of children in the UK cited the environment as one of their primary worries about the future. 

Generation Earthshot encourages students alongside their teachers to focus on solutions and begin unlocking the potential of the next generation of inventors.

Kate and adventurer Steve Backshall chat with students about their ideas.

The Duke and Duchess and guests pose for a photo with students. 

The outtakes are always the most fun right? :)

Town & Country reports:

“Education is such an important part of protecting our planet,” William said in a statement released by Kensington Palace after the event today. “We must inspire in the next generation the optimism, confidence and enthusiasm to chase those solutions and to continue building a more sustainable future. We know that young children already identify the climate as one of their biggest worries, and Generation Earthshot aims to educate and encourage them that together we can find the answers.”

London major Sadiq Khan said it was “inspirational” to see William “lead on this really important agenda.” “The wonderful thing about today was how the Duke and Duchess treated young people with the respect, letting them come up with the ideas,” he said. Alison Bellwood, Director of World’s Largest Lesson in collaboration with the Earthshot Prize, said, “Education for climate and the environment has to be part of the solution.”

A wrap up video from the engagement.

Kew Gardens house the "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world". Founded in 1840 on the incredible garden at Kew Park, the history of the area is sprinkled with royal connections. In 1759, Princess Augusta, mother of King George III and dowager Princess of Wales, founded a nine-acre botanic garden within the pleasure grounds at Kew. Augusta extended the garden and played an integral role in the origins. King George III united the Richmond and Kew estates in 1802. Less than four decades later, Kew transferred from the Crown to the government, and the gardens were opened to the public.

In 1987, Kew's third major conservatory, designed by architect Gordon Wilson, was officially opened by Diana, Princess of Wales in commemoration of her predecessor, Augusta's, links with Kew.

The conservatory received the Europa Nostra award for conservation. The history and associations will be of particular interest to Kate as a future princess of Wales.

An overview of the Palm House and Parterre.

The striking Heliconia rostrata (also known as Hanging Lobster Claw).

Vibrant bursts of yellow and orange (Tagetes erecta 'Marvel Yellow' and Tagetes erecta 'Marvel Orange') in the Waterlily House.

The Duchess sported the familiar green Erdem Allie coat today.

Kate debuted the piece during a tour of New Zealand in 2014 -- specifically, on a day in the Waikato region of the North Island. I remember the Duchess received several compliments from well-wishers, replying she "liked it", and adding William thought it a "bit bright". Kate wore it again for the start of the Tour de France in July 2014...

...and most recently for engagements in London focused on suicide prevention in 2016.

The flawlessly cut, bright grass-green, knee-length coat features a tab-detailed waist and, true to form, the designer used his love of floral prints -- this time on the silk lining. The wool crepe garment has a classic cut and sharp tailoring.

Kate's green knit top is a past season piece (a great spot by Innominate93). 

Middleton Maven shared the Boden Cashmere Knitted Top as a good Repli-Kate. The Duchess recently wore the piece in smoky quartz. 

Kate wore a pair of trousers I don't believe we've previously seen. 

A refresher on upcoming engagements announced for the Duchess.

17 October - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London. Kate will present an award.

19 October - The Duchess of Cambridge will deliver the keynote speech at an event hosted by the Forward Trust to launch the charity’s 'Taking Action on Addiction' campaign.

1-5 November - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Glasgow for COP26 events and the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The exact schedule is yet to be announced.

I'm looking forward to hearing the itinerary for COP26 in Glasgow and engagements focused on climate change.

Kate's Favourites