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Prince William Thanks Irwins for Support in Surprise Video Message at Conservation Gala

Prince William Delivers Surprise Video Message at Steve Irwin Gala in Las Vegas
Prince WilliamCourtesy of Wildlife Warriors/Instagram

Prince William made a surprise appearance at the Steve Irwin Gala in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 11.

Although he wasn’t physically in attendance at the event, the Prince of Wales, 41, delivered a video message at the start of the ceremony to celebrate the life and legacy of beloved conservationist and wildlife educator Irwin, who died at age 44 following a stingray accident in 2006.

“Tonight is all about conservation and continuing Steve’s global mission to protect life on our planet,” William began in his speech, which was shared via social media. “His dream was to have the cleanest water, the freshest air and wildlife in abundance. But most of all, he wanted a future for our children. Advocating for the preservation of life on our planet. It is a passion I share and it is why I launched the Earthshot Prize, to search for and scale the most innovative solutions to the world’s greatest environmental challenges. Our mission is to protect and restore our planet in this critical decade leading up to 2030.”

William launched the Earthshot Prize in 2020 alongside broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough. Each year, the Prize highlights five winners for their contributions toward environmentalism and awards them a grant of £1 million to continue their work.

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At the 2023 Earthshot Prize Awards in Singapore in November 2023, Steve Irwin’s son, Robert Irwin, supported the Prince of Wales’ efforts. Robert, 20, alongside his mom, Terri Irwin, and sister Bindi Irwin, has continued his father’s conservation work.

“It’s hard to put into words just how massive Earthshot is for wildlife conservation, for climate action, for the world,” Robert told People last year. “For Prince William, who has such a great platform, to lend his voice, his resources into creating positive change is such a refreshing, wonderful thing to see. I applaud what he is doing.”

William acknowledged the Irwin family’s support for the Earthshot Prize on Saturday, saying he is “hugely grateful” to them.

“I’m proud to join you virtually tonight to celebrate their work through Wildlife Warriors,” he said in his message. “Seeing the global impact of the charity, founded by Steve and Terri in 2002, brings hope for the future. Never before has it been so important for every single one of us to make environmentally conscious choices that will ensure the healthy future of our planet.”

Prince William Delivers Surprise Video Message at Steve Irwin Gala in Las Vegas
Robert Irwin, Bindi Irwin and Terri Irwin attend the Steve Irwin gala to support the Wildlife Warriors conservationist organization on May 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

He concluded: “I hope you have an enjoyable night and thank you for caring about the future of our wildlife, our wild places and our planet. Together, we can make a difference.”

William recently resumed his public duties after taking a brief break following his wife Princess Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis. The Princess of Wales, 42, revealed in March that she has been privately undergoing preventive chemotherapy treatment and would be taking a step back from her public-facing duties. Her form of cancer has not been disclosed.

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William shared an update on Kate and their children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6 — upon arriving at St. Mary’s Community Hospital in the Isles of Scilly on Friday, May 10. He told hospital administrator Tracy Smith that Kate’s “doing well,” and shared that “the children are very jealous that I’m here and that they’re not here as well.”

His recent work trip to southwest England is William’s first overnight visit since Kate confirmed her diagnosis.

William’s father, King Charles III, is also battling an undisclosed form of cancer and resumed public duties late last month.

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