Prince William has said protecting the environment was a “cause close to my grandmother’s heart” as he delivered a pre-recorded speech at the environmental Earthshot Prize summit.
Prevented by royal mourning from traveling to New York, the Prince of Wales recorded his message at the Windsor estate on Tuesday, the day after the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. He had been due to fly to New York for the innovation summit of his £50m global environmental competition as a countdown to the awards being staged in the US.
He told those gathered in New York for the event: “Although it is the saddest of circumstances that means I cannot join you in person today, I am pleased to be able to join you in video form as you gather in New York for the Earthshot. Prize innovation summit.”
He added: “During this time of grief, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to the Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve.
“Protecting the environment was a cause close to my grandmother’s heart. And I know she would have been delighted to hear about this event and the support you’re all giving our Earthshot finalists, the next generation of environmental pioneers.”
The royal family is continuing its period of mourning for the Queen until seven days after the funeral. Members of the royal family are not expected to carry out official engagements and flags at royal residences will remain at half-mast until 8am next Tuesday.
The Earthshot Prize was founded by William and his Royal Foundation in 2020, and in July this year the project became an independent charity with the prince as its president. The second Earthshot Prize awards ceremony will be held in Boston in December after the inaugural event at London’s Alexandra Palace last year.
Visitors will be able to view the burial site of the late Queen from next week as Windsor Castle reopens to the public. People can pay their respects at St George’s Chapel from 29 September, just over a week after the late monarch was laid to rest.
The Queen’s name has been inscribed alongside her mother’s, father’s and husband’s on the ledger stone in the George VI Memorial Chapel.
The chapel will reopen to visitors later next week on all days the castle is open to the public, excluding Sundays when it is only open for worshippers. Entry to the castle is £28.50 for adults on Saturdays and £26.50 on other days, according to the website.
Westminster Abbey is inviting visitors to pay their respects free of charge after it hosted the Queen’s state funeral.
The abbey’s usual £25 entry fee for adults has been waived on Wednesday and Thursday to allow people the opportunity for “private prayer and reflection”.