The Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Catherine, spent several days in Boston last week making a string of public appearances during their first U.S. visit in years. The three-day trip, beginning Wednesday and ending Friday, was jam-packed with events where the royal couple was met with cheers from crowds of people just hoping for a glimpse of royalty.
Under blustery Boston temperatures, their majesties had several engagements that included meeting with groups in Somerville and Chelsea. They were courtside at a Celtics game and visited East Boston to take a look at Boston Harbor to understand the complex climate issues facing the city. The princess was at Harvard while the prince met with President Joe Biden and Caroline Kennedy. And then it all culminated with the glitz and glamour of the Earthshot Awards ceremony Friday night at the MGM Music Hall.
The royal tour left a mark on Boston, and it’s something many will never forget.
Here are some of the top moments from an unforgettable visit.
Green Carpet at the Earthshot Prize Awards
It was a star-studded evening Friday as celebrities and political figures walked the ‘Green Carpet’ outside the MGM Music Hall in Boston for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize Awards. The glitzy and glamorous ceremony, attended by Shailene Woodley, Ellie Goulding, Chloe x Halle, David Beckham and Rami Malek, capped the royal couple’s three-day trip to the city.
At the gala event, the anchor of the royal couple’s trip, Prince William sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world’s environmental problems through “hope, optimism and urgency.” The Prince of Wales paid homage to the late President John F. Kennedy, saying his Earthshot Prize was inspired by Kennedy’s audacious moonshot speech in 1962 that mobilized the nation to put astronauts on the moon. That same sense of urgency and scale is needed now to protect the environment, William said.
“In the same way the space effort six decades ago created jobs, boosted economies and provided hope, so too can the solutions borne of tonight’s Earthshot Prize winners,” William said.
The second annual Earthshot Prize offered $1.2 million in prize money to each of the winners in five separate categories: nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination and climate change. The winners and all 15 finalists will receive help in expanding their projects to meet global demand.
The winners, announced at Boston’s MGM Music Hall, were: A female-founded startup that’s providing cleaner-burning biomass stoves in Africa; A United Kingdom company making biodegradable packaging from seaweed; A “greenhouse-in-a-box” concept created to increase yields on small farms in India; A technique for transforming atmospheric carbon into rock in Oman in the Middle East; and a woman-led effort to create a new generation of indigenous rangers in Australia.
Providing the star power for the glitzy show were Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle live in Boston, and Billie Eilish performing remotely. The event also featured videos narrated by naturalist David Attenborough and actor Cate Blanchett.
Prizes were presented by actor Rami Malek, comedian Catherine O’Hara, and actor and activist Shailene Woodley. The entertainers were eager to help.
“It’s the greatest crisis of our lifetime, and I appreciate what Prince William is doing,” Malek said before heading into the venue. “And in the next 10 years I think the impact will be staggering. And we can really effect change in the greatest way with these innovators who are being awarded this evening.”
Meeting Henry in His Royal Guard Uniform
On Thursday morning, a little boy from Somerville stole the show as he got a personal meet-and-greet with the royals outside Greentown Labs in his native Somerville thanks to his elaborate King’s Guard costume — the famously stoic soldiers in big, fuzzy hats who stand watch at Buckingham Palace.
Henry, 8, came ready — he had flowers with him that he ended up being able to give to the royals.
“I really want to meet Princess Catherine and Prince William because I never done it before, this is going to be my first time,” he said before the meeting.
His costume Thursday is also what he wore for Halloween — inspired by a recent trip to London. And with the royals in town, the third grader hoped for a chance to meet them.
“If Prince George isn’t here, I am going to ask them where he is, because I want to see him, too,” he said.
Henry didn’t get to meet Prince George, but he did get to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales. When the couple walked out of Greentown, Kate leaned down to shake Henry’s hand, and William followed suit.
“Kind of obsessed,” Henry said.
The couple asked Henry for his name and where he got his costume, the boy recalled.
When he gave the Princess the flowers he brought, “they said, ‘Oh my goodness, thank you so much!’”
Henry was able to give them a salute as well.
“It was crazy!” he said afterward. “I wasn’t actually that nervous now that I think of it when I actually did it.”
The Prince and Princess sent a personal thanks to the boy, writing from their Twitter account, “Thanks to Henry and everyone who came out to see us in Somerville this morning!”
Prince William Meets With President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden visited Boston on Friday for a series of appearances and events, including a meeting with Prince William during the final day of the royals’ trip to Massachusetts.
The president met with the prince at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester where William was learning more about the Kennedy administration and its ties to Boston.
Biden and William greeted each other outside with a handshake and then went inside to speak privately for about 30 minutes.
The president was interested in learning more about the Earthshot Prize, the main reason for Prince William’s trip to Boston. The duo talked in detail about one of the finalists for the award, and Prince William also shared his “long term ambition” for the Earthshot.
The prince also thanked Biden for traveling to London earlier this year to attend the funeral for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, who died at her Balmoral Castle residence on Sept. 8 at age 96. Both shared personal memories of the late queen.
It was a “warm meeting by all accounts,” a British government official told NBC News.
Royalty at TD Garden for Boston Celtics Game
Prince William and Princess Catherine sat courtside at TD Garden on Wednesday night to watch the Boston Celtics face the Miami Heat in a 2022 Eastern Conference Finals rematch.
The British royals arrived about 15 minutes before tip-off and took their seats next to Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.
It appears the royals were ready for the matchup, too: Their official Twitter account posted a photo near the Garden floor about 20 minutes before tip-off.
Ambassador Caroline Kennedy also met with the couple at the Celtics game.
More on the royal couple's visit to Boston
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