Prince William praised Ecuador for the ‘crucial’ work the nation is doing in the battle against climate change as he met President Guillermo Lasso Mendoza ahead of unveiling this year’s Earthshot Prize finalists on his solo trip to New York.
The Prince of Wales confidently strode into the bilateral meeting, beaming as he walked past an Andy Warhol print of his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The heir to the throne was pictured shaking hands with President Lasso before they sat down together at the the British Consul General’s official residence at 50 UN Plaza overlooking the UN building and with panoramic views of the Hudson River.
His engagements in the US coincide with Climate Week in New York and the 78th UN General Assembly where nearly 200 countries are meeting. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is among those in attendance.
Although Prince William will not address the assembly, he met UN chief Antonio Guterres in New York on Monday and discussed ‘efforts required to accelerate the fight against climate change and protect the environment’.
Today, he will also host business leaders, climate activists and policymakers, with those present including UN Special Climate Envoy Michael Bloomberg, former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Prince William has met with the President of Ecuador ahead of unveiling this year’s Earthshot Prize finalists on his solo trip to New York
The Prince of Wales confidently strode into the meeting and smiled as he walked past an Andy Warhol print of his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II
William was speaking with Lasso Mendoza ahead of unveiling this year’s Earthshot Prize finalists on his solo trip to New York
President Lasso told William the environment had always been important to his country.
Ecuadorians voted in a recent referendum to ban oil drilling in Yasuni National Park, located within the Amazon rainforest, and one of the most biodiverse places in the world.
The country is also pursuing other measures to promote sustainability from protecting its waters to mobilising green finance.
William, speaking in the shadow of the print of his late grandmother, said: ‘It’s amazing. This is really important it is historic what you are doing.’
The prince also remarked on yesterday’s weather saying it was ‘pouring down’ when he arrived on Monday. With blue cloudless skies above Manhattan, William said: ‘We could have done with this weather.’
He went on to praise Ecuador for the ‘fantastic work’ it has done for environment. Although he admitted it takes a ‘business brain’ to understand the finances.
William, who flew commercial and was travelling without the Princess of Wales, went straight from the airport to Governor’s island, which sits in New York Harbour, yesterday.
Prince William walks past an Andy Warhol print of his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II
William speaks with the President of Ecuador at the Consul General Official Residence in New York City this afternoon
The Prince of Wales was deep in conversation. He is on a two-day visit to the US and arrived last night
The Prince of Wales is in New York to announce the 15 finalists of this year’s Earthshot Prize, which awards companies and projects focusing on climate solutions
Prince William shakes hakes hands with First Lady of Ecuador, Maria de Lourdes Alcivar
The heir to the throne laughs as he holds a climate meeting on Tuesday afternoon in the US
The Prince of Wales (left) with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, at the UN General Assembly in New York
With William away on business, Princess Kate continued with her own engagements as she was this morning pictured visiting a charity back home in east London.
The Prince of Wales is in New York to announce the 15 finalists of this year’s Earthshot Prize, which awards companies and projects focusing on climate solutions.
He helped found the awards in 2020 and each year five winners get £1million towards their project.
Upon arrival to the US, William said: ‘It’s so good to be back in United States. No one does optimism and ingenuity like the American people, so it’s only right we unveil this year’s Earthshot finalists in New York City.
‘Eighty years ago, the world came together in this great city to find a new way, through the UN, to solve our shared challenges.
‘I know our generation can take the bold action we need to make changes towards a healthy and sustainable world. The challenge may feel huge, but as John F Kennedy taught us, we rise to the challenge not because it is easy, but because it is hard. And vital’.
Before the main event, William yesterday met with UN chief Antonio Guterres. The Prince of Wales and the UN Secretary-General appeared in high spirits as they toured the 93-member world body where world leaders have gathered for their annual summit.
On Governor’s Island, William met schoolchildren who are studying marine biology and spoke with employees of the Billion Oyster Project.
Prince William met with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at United Nations headquarters in New York City on Monday
Despite the grey skies and rain William waded into the East River from a small beach and put some oysters into the water on Monday
William changed into a suit for his meeting with Guterres at the UN Headquarters yesterday
On Governor’s Island William met schoolchildren who are studying marine biology and talk with employees of the Billion Oyster Project
The Prince of Wales signed a book while meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations Headquarters
William seemed to enjoy his visit at the Billion Oyster Project on Monday as he smiled brightly
He was due to see the giant pile of oyster shells that are donated by 75 restaurants in New York rather than being sent to landfill sites.
And afterwards – despite the grey skies and rain – he got waist deep in the East River from a small beach and put some oysters into the water.
He then changed into a suit for a trip to the UN ahead of a ‘no nonsense’ climate summit being hosted by Guterres on Wednesday.
After their meeting, a UN spokesperson said the pair also ‘discussed efforts to enhance implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as financing for development’.
Leaders are also meeting at the United Nations on Monday and Tuesday on the Sustainable Development Goals, a 2015 ‘to-do’ list that includes wiping out hunger and extreme poverty, battling climate change and achieving gender equality.
Guterres warned that the goals ‘need a global rescue plan.’
Despite being in America, there appears to be no plans for William to see his estranged brother – just days after Prince Harry’s Invictus Games came to a close in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The Prince left the Princess of Wales at home with the children as he travelled to the US – with Kate also not expected to join him for the Earthshot Awards ceremony in Singapore in November.
William was in Boston last year to announce the winners of the 2022 Earthshot Prize.
The Prince of founded the awards three years ago, saying he wanted to turn ‘current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism by celebrating the people and places driving change’.
Every year between 2021 and 2030, an awards ceremony will honour winners in the prize’s five categories who are creating innovations which tackle environmental issues. Each winner is given £1million to support and scale their work.
But this is William’s first visit to New York since 2014 and was postponed from last year due to the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Ahead of William’s arrival, a Kensington Palace spokesman said: ‘The prince was incredibly appreciative for the love and support shown by the American people during that time.
William, who flew commercial and was travelling without the Princess of Wales, went straight from the airport to Governor’s island, which sits in New York Harbour
At Governor’s island he was due to learn about the Billion Oyster Project, which aims to make the waters around New York clean by putting a billion oyster shells in them by 2035 to act as natural filters
This is William’s first visit to New York since 2014 and was postponed from last year due to the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II
William set off on a boat with executive director and co founder of Billion Ouster Project Pete Malinowski
The Prince was due to see the giant pile of oyster shells (pictured) that are donated by 75 restaurants in New York rather than being sent to landfill sites
‘He is very much looking forward to being back in New York this week and hopefully meeting as many New Yorkers as possible’
On the trip William is scheduled to visit a fire station in Manhattan and meet with first responders and talk about mental health – his trip is just a week after the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
A meeting with US President Joe Biden, who is attending, is ‘unlikely’, the Kensington Palace spokesman said – the two men met last year in Boston.
It comes just days after his brother, Prince Harry, told veterans they ‘should not feel lost without a uniform’ during an emotional closing speech at the Invictus Games – three years after he was stripped of his military titles in the wake of Megxit.
The Prince of Wales can be seen chuckling as he speaks with children as he visits Billion Oyster Project
The Prince talks with members of the project as he walks along the New York foreshore
Prince of Wales interacts with others from the Billion Oyster Project to learn more about their work to revitalize New York’s waterways
William stands up to his waist in the water as he mucks in – putting in oysters in a bid to clean the waterway
William was in Boston last year to announce the winners of the 2022 Earthshot Prize
The Prince of Wales meets Pete Malinowski – executive director and co founder of Billion Oyster Project
William is in the US announce the 15 finalists for this year’s Earthshot Prize, which awards companies and projects focusing on climate solutions
William is also meeting UN Secretary General António Guterres during the week where the UN General Assembly is meeting
On the trip William is scheduled to visit a fire station in Manhattan and meet with first responders and talk about mental health – his trip is just a week after the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Pictured: A US Coast Guard boat waits the arrival of the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales speaks to students from the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School about the Billion Oyster Project
William was shown tanks indoors and pointed to different equipment used at the project site on Governor’s island
He asked questions and listened intently as volunteers told him more about an area with thousands of oyster shells at the Billion Oyster Project
William was shown the facilities and spoke to students from the Urban Assembly Harbour School
Learning more about the Billion Oyster Project’s work to revitalise New York’s waterways seemingly excited the Prince of Wales
The Duke of Sussex was visibly emotional in a heartfelt speech last at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games.
The 39-year-old said during his five-minute closing speech that they ‘don’t need to rely on a uniform’ nor should they ‘feel lost without one’.
Prince Harry himself has not worn a uniform since he and Meghan moved away from the UK in 2020 and he was stripped off his military titles.
At the Queen’s funeral last year, Harry was pictured wearing a suit while his father King Charles and his older brother Prince William were wearing their uniforms.
Prince Harry has said not to define people by their past pain or back story in an emotional farewell speech during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany
Harry and Meghan stood clapping each of the teams. He was sat next to Elke Budenbender the wife of the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier
She looked on adoringly as the team walked on stage to Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. Meghan clapped along to the song as it reverberated around the Merkur Spiel-Arena and blew kisses to the team
At the Invictus Games, Harry added in his speech on why veterans don’t need rely on their uniforms: ‘Why? Because everything you need is already within you. Tomorrow you will each walk away with memories that are different and unique to you.
‘But my hope is that every memory made, brings a smile to your face through a sense of belonging and an opportunity for you and your family to look forward with price and purpose. ‘
Harry also said to the competitors how their ‘vulnerability’ had ‘opened the hearts’ of millions of people all over the world.
Meghan Markle stood alongside her husband in the crowd in a glowing green dress. During the ceremony she couldn’t hide her pride as she beamed at Team USA when they took their place for the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games.