During his recent visit to New York City, Prince William experienced a poignant moment as he came face to face with a remarkable artwork by Andy Warhol – a portrait of his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
The striking Warhol piece, as iconic in the art world as the late monarch was during her 70-year reign, graces the walls of the Consul General’s residence at UN Plaza. It was here that Prince William had an important meeting with Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, the President of Ecuador, during the United Nations General Assembly.
Significantly, this encounter occurred exactly one year after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, who passed away on September 8th the previous year.
Amid a week focusing on climate issues and on the verge of unveiling the latest finalists for his Earthshot Prize – an initiative aimed at finding solutions to global environmental challenges – Prince William and President Mendoza discussed the ongoing efforts to combat planetary threats.
During their meeting, Prince William expressed his admiration for Ecuador’s commendable contributions to environmental causes, particularly its robust stance against plastic pollution. He also highlighted the UK government’s support for Ecuador’s aspiration to host the signing of a new international treaty in the Galapagos Islands.
Prince William’s team emphasized Ecuador’s vulnerability to climate change impacts and its dedication to innovative climate solutions. The country has been actively safeguarding its forests and oceans, fostering green finance, and championing the inclusion of local communities. Ecuador has earned international recognition for its biodiversity protection efforts, its fight against plastic pollution, and its dedication to nature financing.
This encounter further solidifies Prince William’s burgeoning global reputation, a role he has embraced wholeheartedly since assuming the title of Prince of Wales and heir to the throne following his grandmother’s passing.
Prince William is currently on a two-day visit to New York City, where he aims to bolster his campaign for the environment, with a particular emphasis on promoting the Earthshot Prize. He refers to this initiative as a source of “urgent optimism” as it seeks to address the world’s pressing crises.
Later on Tuesday, Prince William is set to unveil the 15 finalists for the 2023 Earthshot Prize at the Innovation Summit.
Upon his arrival at Newark airport in New Jersey on Monday, he stated in a message from his office at Kensington Palace, “No one embodies optimism and ingenuity quite like the American people, so it’s fitting that we reveal this year’s Earthshot finalists in New York City.”
He continued, “Eighty years ago, the world united in this great city, through the UN, to seek new solutions to our shared challenges. I believe our generation can take bold steps toward a healthier and more sustainable world. While the challenges may seem daunting, we rise to them not because they are easy, but because they are essential.”
Last year, Prince William was scheduled to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York City, but he had to cancel the trip after the passing of Queen Elizabeth.
In a video message addressing the event, Prince William remarked, “Although I cannot join you in person today due to the sad circumstances, I am pleased to connect with you virtually as you gather in New York for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit. During this period of mourning, I find solace in your continued enthusiasm, optimism, and commitment to the Earthshot Prize and our shared objectives.”
He added, “Protecting the environment was a cause dear to my grandmother’s heart, and I am certain she would have been thrilled to hear about this event and the support you are providing to our Earthshot finalists, the next generation of environmental trailblazers.”