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Prince William Touches Down in New York City Ahead of the Earthshot Summit

Prince William Touches Down in New York City Ahead of the Earthshot summit
Prince William Gotham/GC Images

Prince William landed in New York City on Monday, September 18, — one day before he is due to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit at the Plaza Hotel — and jumped in feet first.

On his first day in the city, William, 41, paid a visit to Governors Island where he met with volunteers of the Billion Oysters Project and students at the New York Harbor School. Students were delighted and surprised to see the prince, whose appearance had been kept a secret until the last minute.

The New York Harbor School, a public high school designed for students preparing for maritime careers, has partnered up with the Billion Oysters Project to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor over the next twenty years.

Kynara, one of the high school students who met William, gushed to Town and Country, “We didn’t find out about [his visit] until literally when it happened. It was shocking! It’s not something I expected, but going to a school like this, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.”

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William didn’t hesitate to join volunteers as they waded waist-deep in the murky New York Harbor waters to inspect an oyster reef by Brooklyn Bridge Park. He also paid a visit to an oyster hatchery and a pile of oyster shells — donated by New York City restaurants in an effort to restore the oyster reefs — on Governors Island.

Prince William Touches Down in New York City Ahead of the Earthshot summit 3
Prince William Cindy Ord/Getty Images

After his visit, William reflected on what he learned, sharing via X: “From restaurant to Harbor, that’s one shell of a journey… New Yorkers’ enduring love for Oysters and the support of local restaurants has helped @BillionOyster Project collect more than 2 million pounds of recycled shells to date 👏”

William is the Founder and President of the Earthshot Prize. It was launched in 2020 to award leaders, innovators and activists who are aiming to repair the planet by 2030.

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About the Earthshot Prize, William tweeted: “It’s so good to be back in the United States. No one does optimism and ingenuity like the American people, so it’s only right we unveil this year’s @Earthshotprize Finalists in New York City.”

William will unveil the 15 Earthshot Prize Finalists for 2023 at the Plaza on Tuesday, September 19. The five official winners will be announced at the ceremony in Singapore on Tuesday, November 7, where they will win $1.2 million each to fund their efforts in combating climate change.

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