William and Kate’s star-studded US awards bash is a ‘good opportunity’ to boost monarchy’s image in America in wake of Harry and Meghan’s bombshell attacks but could lead to comparisons in ‘royal smackdown’, say experts
- William and Kate set to fly to Boston on Wednesday for the start of three-day trip
- He sees Earthshot as part of increasing global leadership role on environment
- They will attend glittering award event on Friday night with Billie Eilish
- On Tuesday Harry and Meghan will receive controversial award in New York
- But sources have said there are no plans for couples to try to meet on east coast
The Prince and Princess of Wales’ trip to the US this week will help ‘redress the balance’ for the Royal Family in the wake of Harry and Meghan’s transatlantic potshots and inaccuracies in The Crown, experts claimed today.
William and Kate will fly to Boston on Wednesday for the start of a three-day trip to the US, the highlight of which will be the glitzy Earthshot awards event on Friday, described by one insider as the prince’s ‘Super Bowl’ moment.
Experts have said that it is hugely significant that the couple’s first foreign trip since the Queen’s death is to America. They have no plans to see Harry and Meghan despite both heading to the east coast of the US in the coming week.
Historian and biographer Amanda Lucy Foreman said the Wales’ US visit is a ‘royal smackdown of sorts’ to the Sussexes.
The Prince and the Princess of Wales fly to Boston on Wednesday – but are not expected to see Harry and Meghan, who are in New York next week
Calling William and Kate the ‘working Windsors’, and Meghan and Harry the ‘working-it Windsors’, she claimed Harry’s older brother and his wife are landing in the US just as the ‘working-it Windsors’ are ‘wearing out their welcome’.
Royal commentator and biographer Phil Dampier said: ‘I’m sure they don’t see it as a rival trip to Harry and Meghan but it’s inevitable that’s how it will be portrayed.
‘The main point is that William’s Earthshot prize is an important award which recognises practical solutions to climate change and he cares deeply about it trying to make a difference’.
The Netflix series ‘The Crown’ has also resurrected some of the more troubled times of the House of Windsor just as the royal family tries to show that it remains relevant in modern, multicultural Britain following the death of the Queen.
‘You could say that the royal family, particularly as far as America is concerned, have had a bit of a bumpy ride of late´, said Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty Magazine.
‘They´ve come in for huge amounts of criticism on the back of `The Crown´ and also the Oprah Winfrey interview, which has not particularly reflected well on the House of Windsor, so I think it´s a good opportunity whilst they´re in the US. … to sort of redress the balance if at all possible’.
The Wales’ head to Boston on Wednesday, And just 200 miles away, in New York, William’s estranged brother and his wife will also be in the limelight, accepting the Ripple of Hope award in New York organised by another branch of the Kennedy family, Robert F Kennedy’s daughter, Kerry, on Tuesday.
Controversially Kerry Kennedy has said that the Ripple of Hope award in part recognises the Sussexes’ stance in standing up against institutionalised racism in the Royal Family – allegations that have been strongly rejected by the royal household. The Queen appeared to deny it in a rare statement before she died.
With speculation building about Harry and Meghan’s forthcoming Netflix ‘docuseries’, sources insisted the Wales’ ‘won’t be distracted by other things’.
And according to the Telegraph, citing a foreign office source, while the palace team is ‘highly cognizant’ of Meghan, 41, and Harry, 38, they are ‘not scared of their shadows on this’.
Despite being in the same part of the world – just days apart – multiple sources have said they have ‘no plans’ to see each other. Royal experts have said repeatedly that the brothers are no closer despite the death of their grandmother in September.
They stayed just yards apart from each other in Windsor before and after Her Majesty’s funeral but are not believed to have spent time together apart from at formal occasions.
But as much as the royals try to focus on Earthshot, William is likely to face questions about Harry and Meghan, who have repeatedly criticised the Royal Family.
They accused senior royals of racism and ignoring Meghan when she was suicidal and pregnant, in interviews with Oprah Winfrey and other US media.
Billie Eilish is expected to perform at the Prince of Wales’ Earthshot Prize awards in Boston
Cate Blanchett (pictured) will also feature in the Earthshot event
Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox and actor Rami Malik will lead a stellar line-up for the Prince of Wales’ Earthshot Prize awards as he and his wife roll out the red carpet stateside this week.
William, 40, is passionate about the awards he devised to highlight individuals and organisations developing practical solutions to the global environmental crisis.
Five winners will each be given £1million in prize money, so the stakes are high.
Harry and Meghan will receive a Ripple of Hope award
Sources say he sees Earthshot as part of his increasing ‘global leadership’ role. ‘It’s a big moment for him on the world stage,’ one added.
William and the Princess of Wales – who are undertaking their first overseas visit since the death of the Queen and being given their new titles – are ‘hugely excited’ about the trip and see it as a key moment in forging their own paths as working royals.
They are keen to meet members of as many local communities as possible during their visit to a city famed for its Irish community, sporting heritage and history.
As well as attending a special event with the Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, 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 will tour Greentown Labs, in the nearby town of Somerville, to get an insight into the development of innovative green technologies.
They will also spend time at Roca, a non-profit organisation supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.
It’s a theme Kate will take with her to the world famous Harvard University when she visits the Centre on the Developing Child.
In 2021 Kate launched her own Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which is working with organisations to help youngsters between the crucially formatives ages of birth to five.
However, Friday night’s gala awards ceremony is undoubtedly the focus of their visit and William has harnessed their royal star power to reel in a host of celebrity backers.
Boston was the natural home for Earthshot in the US as the awards were inspired by JFK’s Moonshot, who was born in the city.
Other names performing at the MGM Music Hall in Boston include Ellie Goulding and Beyonce proteges Chloe x Halle.
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.’
Among the 15 finalists vying for £1million 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.’
Sir David Attenborough, a supporter of the Earthshot Prize since its inception last year, 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.
Malek, who played singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, will present an award as will actress Catherine O’Hara, star of Home Alone and Schitt’s Creek, as well as environmental activist and actress Shailene Woodley.
John F Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline, and his grandson, Jack Schlossberg will also provide their support.
The awards will be broadcast on the BBC in the UK on Sunday at 5.30pm, with other link-ups to broadcast it in US and across Africa. It will also air on YouTube around the rest of the world.
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