A chance for William and Kate to get the US visit back on track after a tricky few days

The Prince and Princess of Wales during a visit to Boston Harbour Defences Credit: PA

Prince William has referred to the record temperatures in the UK this year and the devastating floods in Pakistan as he tried to refocus his US visit on his signature environmental awards.

He is hosting the Earthshot Award prize ceremony in Boston on Friday night on the third day of William and Kate’s visit to the United States.

He will also meet President Biden at the John F Kennedy Presidential library in Boston, which is JFK’s home city.

Joe Biden is in town for a political event and will hold talks with the British heir to the throne.

The first two days of William and Kate’s US visit were overshadowed by the race row at Buckingham Palace involving his godmother, Lady Susan Hussey and then the release by Netflix of a trailer for Harry and Meghan’s docu-series.

Both events have forced royal aides to grit their teeth, hide their anger and do what they can to keep this royal visit, the first as the Prince and Princess of Wales, on track.

The row involving the conversation between a black guest at a domestic violence reception and Lady Susan, a longstanding aide to the late Queen, erupted on Wednesday morning, when Ngozi Fulani shared how she had been repeatedly asked where she and “her people” are from.

It led to her apologising and stepping down from her role in the Royal Household.

Prince William and his most senior staff were boarding the plane to Boston when it was unfolding and they asked Buckingham Palace to have it resolved before they landed six hours later.

But there was little Prince William’s team they could do about the intentional decision by Netflix to release the minute-long video of Harry and Meghan, with personal photographs, images of Meghan crying and words from the couple such as “no one sees what’s happening behind closed doors” and “when the stakes were this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”

Palace aides are bracing themselves for the six part series which is expecting to be released on Thursday 8 December, although Netflix has not yet confirmed the date.

ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports on the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Boston for the Earthshot Award prize

In the meantime, Prince William and Kate will hope the Earthshot ceremony will get all the attention this evening.

Celebrities at the event include David Beckham, Billie Eilish and Ellie Goulding, and the five winners which each receive £1 million to develop their projects to combat the most pressing environmental challenges facing the world.

There are two British teams in the final fifteen. Boston is the second awards ceremony for Earthshot after the inaugural one in London last year.

Prince William wrote in an article for Huffington Post: “Repairing our planet is not going to be easy, but the case for taking action to protect our natural world is undeniable.”

He referred to how “in my home country, the mercury hit 104 Fahrenheit this summer for the first time in history.” That was the 40.3C recorded in July.

He also referred to the recent floods in Pakistan and to “15 weather or climate disaster events” in the US.

Prince William’s ten year Earthshot scheme was inspired by President Kennedy’s Moonshot challenge to the American people in the 1960s to get a man on the Moon by the end of the decade.

If William and Kate can get through this ceremony on Friday and head back to the UK without any further distractions, Kensington Palace will breathe a sigh of relief.

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