On Friday the winners of the Earthshot Prize will be announced at a Boston ceremony studded with big names—Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Rami Malek, Catherine O’Hara, and Shailene Woodley among them. But those will likely all be dwarfed by two: Prince William and the Princess of Wales, who are making their first trip to the US since 2014. They arrive Wednesday and will spend their 3-day visit in Boston, where the annual prize for environmental innovators will be doled out for a second time. The first go-round happened last year in London; the AP explains the birthplace of John F. Kennedy was picked for this year's ceremony in a nod to his 1962 "moonshot" speech (it also inspired the prize's name).
Earthshot offers $1.2 million in prize money to winners to help advance their work in one of five categories: nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination, and climate change. One finalist, Charlot Magayi, is behind a Kenyan startup that has developed a cleaner-burning stove that increases cooking safety while lowering indoor air pollution. William and Kate will announce the winners, "but their visit is weighted with additional significance," points out the New York Times, which catalogs all that has changed since they were last here: The queen is dead, Prince Harry and Meghan decamped to California, and Americans now have "a deeper understanding of royal life, thanks in part to Netflix’s The Crown."
Boston University history professor Arianne J. Chernock gives context to the Times: "This is them trying to establish who they are in a more pared-down, streamlined monarchy," one focused on "core, weighty issues" like the environment and having "a sense of relevance, as well as a connection with their subjects and global population to justify their existence. It's a tall task." As such, the majority of their itinerary will revolve around climate and social issues. The Boston Globe has the details of their itinerary here. (Read more Prince William stories.)