'She would have been delighted': Prince William pays tribute to the Queen at global climate summit

Prince William said protecting the environment was a cause close to his grandmother's heart, as ITV News Chloe Keedy reports

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the Queen during a pre-recorded speech for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit, in New York.

He was originally due to attend the summit in person, however the death of his grandmother, earlier in September, prevented him from making an appearance.

The Earthshot Prize is a global environmental award programme Prince William founded to help tackle the planet’s biggest challenges.

In the video the Prince of Wales said it was because of the "saddest of circumstances" that he couldn't attend.

"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," he added.

Last year, Prince William hosted the inaugural prize ceremony of The Earthshot Prize in London, with the second set of awards slated to take place this December.

Finalists for the ceremony, which will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, are due to be announced in a few weeks' time. The five individuals chosen will receive £1 million each to expand on their work.

The Prince of Wales acknowledged that while parts of the world are currently facing "unimaginable challenges" that leaders "must also remain resolutely focused on tackling the greatest challenges that threaten our tomorrow".

The Prince of Wales stressed the need for the world to address 'unimaginable challenges' such as energy crises and food shortages in the short-term.

He said: "Because if we don’t, the changing climate will only serve to entrench these immediate challenges into fundamental global issues, severely impacting the lives of each and every one of us.

"That is why our collective mission is so urgent."

Within his speech Prince William also quoted former US president John F. Kennedy, for his remarks on America's goal to be the first country to put a man on the moon, in the 1960s.

The Earthshot Prize, which has taken inspiration from the Moonshot plan, similarly aims to unite people around a ten-year goal.

'We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard'.

Overall, it hopes to find solutions to help combat the alarming rate of environmental damage humanity is doing to the Earth.

There are five awards of £1 million each year, for ten years, for projects that seek to restore nature, clean the air, revive the oceans, tackle waste and combat climate change.

In 2021, the awards went to Costa Rica for protecting and restoring its forests, a coral replanting scheme in The Bahamas, a project to stop farmers burning agricultural waste in India, a food waste operation in Milan and a hydrogen gas power project.

The Prince of Wales has confirmed he plans to attend December's awards ceremony with his wife, the Princess of Wales. If the visit does go ahead it will be the couple's first to the US since 2014.

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