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Kate Middleton and Prince William promote ‘Generation Earthshot’ at Kew Gardens


Kate Middleton looked elegant in green as she joined Prince William at Kew Gardens for an educational event tied to his Earthshot Prize initiative.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, dusted off an emerald Erdem coat last worn in 2016 for the outing, pairing the statement piece with a short-sleeve fitted lime green jumper and wide-leg black trousers. 

Keeping things simple, Kate wore her brunette locks loose around her shoulders and keep her accessories to a minimum. Meanwhile William looked smart in a navy suit with light blue open collar shirt.  

The couple were joined by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, TV presenter Steve Backshall and double Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover as they took part in activities alongside children from The Heathlands School, Hounslow. 

The Generation Earthshot event, which takes place ahead of the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards on Sunday, was designed to encourage children to ‘generate big, bold ideas to repair the planet’. 

The duchess paired the statement piece with a fitted lime green jumper and wide-leg black trousers

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, dusted off an emerald Erdem coat last worn in 2016 for the outing, pairing the statement piece with a fitted lime green jumper and wide-leg black trousers

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside children from The Heathlands School, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (right), TV presenter Steve Backshall MBE (2nd left) and Olympian Helen Glover (3rd left) during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside children from The Heathlands School, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (right), TV presenter Steve Backshall MBE (2nd left) and Olympian Helen Glover (3rd left) during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens

Taking part! The Duke Cambridge with children from The Heathlands School during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens

Taking part! The Duke Cambridge with children from The Heathlands School during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens

The Duke and Duchess appeared in excellent spirits as they mingled with children and VIPs at the event, taking it in turns to sit down activity tables with smaller groups. 

Prince William said: ‘Education is such an important part of protecting our planet. We must inspire in the next generation the optimism, confidence and enthusiasm to chase those solutions and to continue building a more sustainable future.

‘We know that young children already identify the climate as one of their biggest worries, and Generation Earthshot aims to educate and encourage them that together we can find the answers. Children can be uniquely creative and I can’t wait to see some of the ideas that are shared with us.’

During the outing, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge used superhero toys to encourage children to come up with ideas to save the planet.

Prince William was given ‘Ant Man’ – who has the ability to shrink to the size of an ant – while Kate had the Invisible Woman for the brainstorming ‘Generation Earthshot’ event.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside children from The Heathlands School, as well as other VIP guests to the event

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside children from The Heathlands School, as well as other VIP guests to the event

The royal couple were joined by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, TV presenter Steve Backshall and double Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover (pictured left, next to Kate)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside children from The Heathlands School, TV presenter Steve Backshall MBE (2nd left) and Olympian Helen Glover (3rd left)

The royal couple were joined by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, TV presenter Steve Backshall and double Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover (pictured left, next to Kate)

The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in south London, to take part in a Generation Earthshot event

 The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in south London, to take part in a Generation Earthshot event

Each sat down with a group of 12-year-olds and were told to come up with as ‘wild and wacky’ ideas as possible using their character’s super power.

‘We just need Ant Man here to help us find some answers,’ the prince said, adjusting the toy’s arm. Kate appeared very enthusiastic about the Invisible Woman, saying: ‘Maybe she could make an invisible bubble that no-one can see to protect the planet so no-one can cut down any trees?’

There were given tables, each one named after an Earthshot Prize, with William sitting at ‘Build a Waste Free World’ and Kate at ‘Protect and Restore Nature’.

They were also left with a number of items – in William’s case a pack of playing cards, an apple and a drumstick and Kate a mobile phone, a key and an orange – and asked how they would use them to solve environmental problems.

‘I’m just trying to work out how playing cards come into this,’ puzzled the prince. ‘And the drumstick, that’s quite hard to work out too.’ 

Kate Middleton looked elegant in green as she joined Prince William at Kew Gardens for an educational event tied to his Earthshot Prize environmental initiative

Kate Middleton looked elegant in green as she joined Prince William at Kew Gardens for an educational event tied to his Earthshot Prize environmental initiative

One boy suggested taking the pips from the apple, planting them and growing trees to make the drumsticks. He added: ‘You guys are coming up with some really practical solutions. Mine feel a bit pie in the sky.’

The couple also laughed and giggled as the children were encouraged to throw a large inflatable globe between their tables, designed to show how all their different ideas can link up.

Chatting with the children afterwards, William chuckled loudly when one youngster asked him about his ‘designer clothes’. ‘I wear very boring clothes. My wife wears nice colours,’ he said, gesturing at the duchess’s bright green coat and jumper.

Speaking to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, Kate said: ‘They are buzzing about it, they had such great ideas.’

William added: ‘They were asked to come up with some really crazy ideas, think out of the box. But actually some of the things they said are already been worked on by scientists, which shows how bright they are and are thinking on the right track.’

The Duke and Duchess appeared in excellent spirits as they mingled with children and VIPs at the event, taking it in turns to sit down activity tables with smaller groups

The Duke and Duchess appeared in excellent spirits as they mingled with children and VIPs at the event, taking it in turns to sit down activity tables with smaller groups

The Duchess of Cambridge joined schoolchildren for activities encouraging them to think about environmental issues

The Duchess of Cambridge joined schoolchildren for activities encouraging them to think about environmental issues

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) strolled through Kew Gardens on their visit for the Generation Earthshot event

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) strolled through Kew Gardens on their visit for the Generation Earthshot event

Yusef Rawn, 12, who was sat with William said the future king had suggested getting all of their superheroes together, gathering all the world’s rubbish and ejecting it into space.

‘One of his ideas at the end was getting all the superheroes together to lift all the rubbish into space to get it out of the world. We thought it was quite interesting but it wouldn’t work sadly because we don’t have any superheroes. ‘

But he added: ‘They helped to inspire us, coming up with ideas that we could develop.’ Kalina Wojcikiew, 12, said: ‘It was amazing to meet them. I’m just so glad there are people wanting to do something about the environment.’

Explorer and present Steve Backshall said: ‘They were fantastic. Encouraging the children to throw out every idea possible. It’s the kind of attitude our leaders need if we are to have any chance of making an impact on our climate’s problems.’

Sadiq Khan said he found the royal couple enthusiastic and engaging: ‘I hope William and Catherine never decide to run for mayor, because they are really good people. What’s lovely is that they gave the kids so much confidence. They weren’t patronising. 

Keeping things simple, Kate wore her brunette locks loose around her shoulders and keep her accessories to a minimum

Keeping things simple, Kate wore her brunette locks loose around her shoulders and keep her accessories to a minimum

The Generation Earthshot event, which takes place ahead of the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards on Sunday, was designed to encourage children to 'generate big, bold ideas to repair the planet'. Pictured, Kate with children from The Heathlands School

The Generation Earthshot event, which takes place ahead of the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards on Sunday, was designed to encourage children to ‘generate big, bold ideas to repair the planet’. Pictured, Kate with children from The Heathlands School

It is an important week for the couple, with both William and Kate (pictured) expected at the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace on Sunday

It is an important week for the couple, with both William and Kate (pictured) expected at the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace on Sunday

‘The kids were just fizzing. They will remember this day for the rest of their lives. They realise that this generation will not forgive us if our generation doesn’t solve these problems.’

Mr Khan added: ‘It’s been great to work with the bright young leaders of our future today to develop ideas on how to address the climate and environmental crisis. 

‘I want London to be a zero-pollution city so that no child has to grow up in our city breathing toxic air and I’m determined that we continue to tackle the twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency so that we can deliver a future that’s greener, fairer and more prosperous for everyone.’ 

It is an important week for the couple, with both William and Kate expected at the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace on Sunday. 

Broadcast to a global audience via the BBC and Discovery+, the awards ceremony will celebrate the 15 incredible Finalists from around the world before awarding the first five Winners of The Earthshot Prize.  

Broadcast to a global audience via the BBC and Discovery+, the awards ceremony will celebrate the 15 incredible Finalists from around the world before awarding the first five Winners of The Earthshot Prize. Pictured, Kate during today's visit

Broadcast to a global audience via the BBC and Discovery+, the awards ceremony will celebrate the 15 incredible Finalists from around the world before awarding the first five Winners of The Earthshot Prize. Pictured, Kate during today’s visit

Generation Earthshot informs that interest and encourages students and their teachers around the world to generate ideas to solve the world's greatest environmental challenges. Pictured, William during the outing

Generation Earthshot informs that interest and encourages students and their teachers around the world to generate ideas to solve the world’s greatest environmental challenges. Pictured, William during the outing

These five solutions will have the potential to respond to the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet and will each receive £1 million to help them scale up. 

The first Finalists of the Prize include a 14-year-old inventor from India who is working to improve air quality across India, a tiny water treatment plant from Japan that turns 98 per cent of wastewater into clean water and the country of Costa Rica for a pioneering scheme to restore the rainforest.

Recent findings from The Children’s Commissioner’s Big Ask shows that young people are concerned about the future of the planet, with 39 per cent of children asked in the UK identifying the environment as one of their main worries about the future. 

Generation Earthshot informs that interest and encourages students and their teachers around the world to generate ideas to solve the world’s greatest environmental challenges. 

It aims to unlock the potential of the next generation of inventors, innovators and leaders who will inherit our world and inspire in them the enthusiasm to develop new solutions and protect our planet.

It comes just weeks before the UK hosts COP26 in Glasgow from October 31st to November 12th. The climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. These actions include increasing the focus on climate and environmental education within school curriculums across the world.

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