The Prince of Wales Arrives in Singapore for the Earthshot Prize 2023

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore

HRH William, The Prince of Wales is currently in Singapore to preside over the third Earthshot Prize Awards. The first time to be held in Asia. 

Singapore is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. This will be Prince William's first visit to Singapore in 11 years! 

His last visit was in October 2012, when he and his wife, then the Duchess of Cambridge, made an official trip to Singapore in connection to Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Year

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
The Prince of Wales arrives in Singapore

For his return trip, the Prince of Wales, now heir to the British throne, came without Catherine, the Princess of Wales. Kate accompanied Prince William to Boston in 2022 for the 2nd Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony. But this year's edition, she preferred to stay behind to assist their eldest child, Prince George, on his  school exams this week. 

Upon his arrival at Singapore Changi International Airport, the Prince of Wales was greeted by Sim Ann, an Oxford University graduate who is now serving as Singapore's Senior Minister of State for National Development and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. 

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Prince William and Sim Ann at the Rain Vortex. Photo credit: Earthshot Prize

The world-class Singapore Changi Airport

Prince William was given a tour around the world-class Singapore Changi International Airport, known for its butterfly garden, movie theater, and swimming pool, and has been rated as the World's Best Airport for the 8th consecutive year by Skytrax! 

Before greeting the crowd, Prince William stood on an upper floor of Changi airport, known as the Jewel, to take a look of the 40m high Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall that was illuminated green to represent nature, to mark his arrival. He was also shown a tree planted in his honor in the indoor garden at the foot of the waterfall.

Rain Vortex Changi airport
Rain Vortex at the Jewel Changi Airport. Photo credit: Changi Airport

Jewel Changi Airport is a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex surrounded by and linked to one of the passenger terminals of Changi Airport. Its centerpiece is the world's tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, that is surrounded by a terraced forest setting.

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Prince William at Jewel Changi Airport

Jewel includes gardens, attractions, a hotel, about 300 retail and dining outlets, as well as early baggage check-in aviation facilities. It covers a total gross floor area of 1,461,000 square feet. 

Its attractions include the Shiseido Forest Valley, an indoor garden spanning five storeys, and the Canopy Park at the topmost level, featuring gardens and leisure facilities.

Upon landing, the Prince of Wales said in a statement: “It’s fantastic to be back in Singapore for this year’s Earthshot Prize ceremony, after eleven years. Singapore’s bold vision to be a leader for environmental innovation sets the standard for others to follow."

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Prince William upon arrival in Singapore. Photo credit: The Earthshot Prize

He was greeted by a large crowd who gathered around the Rain Vortex, waving British flags. The Prince of Wales shook hands, signed autographs, and sportingly took selfies with many of the members of the crowd during a walkabout.

So why Singapore?

Many people might ask why Prince William and the Earthshot Prize team chose Singapore as the venue of the third edition.

According to Prince William himself, "Singapore's bold vision to be a leader for environmental innovation sets the standard for others to follow".

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Singapore. Photo credit: The Earthshot Prize

The Earthshot Prize further explained the reasons why they chose Singapore as the venue for the prize's 3rd edition:
  • Singapore is a global powerhouse for innovation
  • A hub of innovation for start-ups and tech companies
  • Singapore combines capital and human ingenuity to tackle the toughest environmental challenges
  • Local innovators' effort to push for sustainable and innovative solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change as Southeast Asia has been facing the threats of rising sea levels and extreme weather due to global warming.
  • Singapore is a garden city! Nearly half of Singapore's land area is covered in lush greenery, making it a paradise for both residents and biodiversity alike
  • Singapore's commitment to sustainability extends to construction with green building regulations
  • Southeast Asia is home to some of the world's most biologically diverse ecosystems: The rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, coral reefs of the Philippines, and Mekong River system.
Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Photo credit: The Earthshot Prize

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Rain Vortex area illuminated green to mark Prince William's arrival

This year's Earthshot Prize is in partnership with Temasek Trust, Temasek, GenZero, and Conservation International. To mark the event, prominent landmarks in Singapore, such as Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay, and Marina Bay Sands will light up green to celebrate the incredible environmental innovation emerging from Southeast Asia.

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Prince William in Singapore

The third annual Awards Ceremony will be held on November 7, Tuesday. Five winners will be chosen for the Earthshot Prize 2023. Awards presenters include Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett and Sterling K Brown, British actress Hannah Waddingham, Australian nature conservationist Robert Irwin, Hongkong actor Donnie Yen, and South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha, among others.

Prince William Earthshot Prize Singapore
Prince William in Singapore. Photo credit: The Earthshot Prize

The Earthshot Prize

The primary goal of The Earthshot Prize is to look for brilliant environmental projects that can help fix and save the planet, a sustainable solution to mitigate climate change, and hopefully inspire everyone to carry the same vision for a sustainable environment.

Prince William first conceived the idea of establishing the Earthshot Prize in 2019, revealing that he was inspired by the Moonshot dream of President John F, Kennedy in 1962 of sending humans to the moon (which was realized in 1969 with the successful moon landing of the Apollo 11 crew, six years after Kennedy was assassinated), to establish the same dream, this time, to find solutions to mitigate climate change.

Prince William the Prince of Wales
HRH William, the Prince of Wales

He also emphasized that he was inspired by the environmental works of his grandfather, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021), his father, Prince Charles, now King Charles III, and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough, a nature and wildlife documentary filmmaker. Thus, he conceived the "Earthshot" to raise awareness of the world's environmental problems and how everyone can help "fix our planet".

Prince William announced in 2019 that the Earthshot Prize will be given to five individuals or organizations who/that provided impactful and sustainable solutions for Earth's environmental problems. Each winner will receive a grant of £1 million to continue their environmental work. 

Earthshot Prize Prince William
Sir David Attenborough and Prince William in 2020

The mission of the Earthshot Prize is based on five key points of environmental protection:  
  • Protect and Restore Nature
  • Clean our Air
  • Revive our Oceans
  • Build a Waste-Free World
  • Fix our Climate. 
The five categories were inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals: The restoration and protection of nature, air cleanliness, ocean revival, waste-free living, and climate action.

Prince William launched Earthshot Prize
Sir David Attenborough meets Prince William's family at Kensingon Gardens, October 2020

In 2020, he formally launched the Earthshot Prize with Sir David Attenborough. The first awarding ceremony was held in 2021 in London. 

First Earthshot Prize winners (2021):

1. Protect and Restore Nature - Republic of Costa Rica
2. Clean our Air - Takachar (India)
3. Revive our Oceans - Coral Vita (Bahamas)
4. Build a Waste-Free World - The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs (Italy)

In July 2022, it was announced that after being a part of The Royal Foundation for two years, the Earthshot Prize became an independent charity. 

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