What is Earthshot Prize? Prince William to hold star-studded $69M award show for environment

The Earthshot Prize Awards are set to take place this October, with judges like Shakira, Sir David Attenborough and Cate Blanchett in attendance

                            What is Earthshot Prize? Prince William to hold star-studded $69M award show for environment
In this handout photo provided by Kensington Palace, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, stands in front of Alexandra Palace's Rose Window as he announces the inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards in London, England (Photo by Kensington Palace via Getty Images

Later this year, Prince William is set to host a star-studded celebration at London's iconic Alexandra Palace for his inaugural $69.62 million Earthshot Prize Awards, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday, June 24. 

The inaugural ceremony of the Duke of Cambridge's decade-long worldwide environmental competition will be televised on BBC One in October, with a lineup of A-list judges due to take part in the show, which will award winners $1.39 million for a green idea. The Nobel-style environmental prize will go to those developing the greatest and most inventive ideas to combat climate change and restore the planet.


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British broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough, who has been a long-time supporter of the initiative, sits on the Earthshot Prize council, which will select the winners. Cate Blanchett, Shakira, and Queen Rania of Jordan are among the other judges. The concert, which will be televised worldwide, will feature "some of the world's leading performers, all committed to repairing our planet," according to organizers.


What is the Earthshot Prize?

The Earthshot Reward is a prize that will be presented yearly from 2021 through 2030 to five winners whose solutions have a significant environmental impact. The Royal Foundation, based in London, England, bestows the prize. The award is given out in five categories, or 'Earthshots', each of which is backed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and which organizers say if achieved by 2030, would improve life for all.

The Earthshot Prize was established in 2020 by the Duke of Cambridge and Attenborough, with the backing of a diverse group of people and organizations committed to climate change. The Earthshot Prize Council, which includes the duke and Attenborough and spans six continents, will choose the winners. The award is named after late US President John F. Kennedy's ambitious Moonshot lunar space program, which advanced mankind's technological achievements in the 1960s, the Daily Mail reported.


"The Earthshot Prize is really about harnessing that optimism and that urgency to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest environmental problems. We believe this decade is one of the most crucial decades for the environment," William said about the awards to The Guardian. "We must have some hope, we must have some optimism, because if we don’t it is all too much, it is very apocalyptic about things. These are grave times for the environment. But I do believe in human ingenuity, and I do believe in the younger generations speaking up as they are now, that they will not stand for this lack of hope," he added.

In a teaser filmed by a drone camera, William, who thinks Earthshot will become the "Nobel award of the environmental world," announced the October 17 event, as he wore an open-necked blue shirt standing alone in front of the ornate Alexandra Palace Rose Window. The teaser will be screened in London's Piccadilly lights landmark in Piccadilly Circus at 8 am on Friday, June 25.

"Join me for the first ever Earthshot Prize Awards, where we'll unveil five global prizewinners and their game-changing solutions to repair our planet, on October 17th, here in London," the duke said in the clip. Last week, the duke met with London mayor Sadiq Khan at Kensington Palace, who described the ceremony as a "momentous occasion" for the city.