Europe

William and Kate sit courtside with Governor-Elect Maura Healey

Prince William discusses The Earthshot Prize in Boston

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The Prince and Princess of Wales were greeted with loud cheers and a handful of boos as they enjoyed a Boston Celtics basketball game on the first day of their trip to the US city. The couple were pictured laughing and smiling alongside Governor-Elect Maura Healey as they sat courtside for the game against Miami Heat at the TD Garden.

Also seated nearby were Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and his wife Emilia Fazzalari, and Celtics Legend Thomas ‘Satch’ Sanders.

The couple were even flashed up on the Jumbotron during the first quarter time of the game, grinning warmly as their names were flashed across the screen.

William and Kate are in Boston to attend the second annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony on Friday, where grants of £1million will be awarded to five winners to aid them in their efforts to tackle climate change.

During the basketball game a Celtics traditional tribute of recognizing a ‘Hero Among Us’ will also reflect the royal visit as on this occasion the hero chosen is 15-year-old Ollie Perrault, a climate activist from Easthampton, Massachusetts.

The teenager has been a leading member of the Youth Climate Leadership Program since she was just 11 years old and is also the founder and director of Youth Climate Action Now.

Ms Perrault said she is “committed to fighting for environmental justice, advocating for an intersectional system change, and working to get more young people involved in direct climate action”.

Before attending the game Prince William gave a speech in front of Boston City Hall launching the prize, with the building set to be lit up in green for the event.

He said: “There are two reasons why Boston was the obvious choice to be the home of the Earthshot Prize in its second year.

“Sixty years ago, President Kennedy’s Moonshot speech laid down a challenge to American innovation and ingenuity.

“‘We choose to go to the Moon’, he said, ‘not because it is easy, but because it is hard’.

“It was that Moonshot speech that inspired me to launch the Earthshot Prize, with the aim of doing the same for climate change as President Kennedy did for the space race.”

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The Prince thanked Boston Mayor Wu and Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, with the latter speaking at the event about the “legacy of colonialism and racism”.

The city’s Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space said: “On this day, I invite us all to consider the legacy of colonialism and racism.

“The ways it has impacted people across the world and its connection, its deep connection to the degradation of land and our planet that we are all seeking to reverse.

“The stories lost, the species made extinct, but also the persistence of people in the face of oppression and the fundamental dignity of all of our relations.”

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