Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in Boston on Wednesday for the Earthshot Prize, an annual competition launched by Prince William in 2020, but two of their top guests were noticeably absent amid an ongoing race row in the U.K.
According to The New York Times, the Earthshot Prize competition awards grants to “entrepreneurs that are developing breakthrough climate solutions.”
“The name of the prize is a nod to President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 ‘moonshot’ speech rallying public support for the effort to land American astronauts on the moon within the decade,” the Times reported Wednesday.
Now, who do you think of when climate change and the Kennedys come to mind? You might think of John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Australia.
Mayor Michelle Wu will join Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Secretary John Kerry in welcoming the Prince and Princess of Wales to Boston’s City Hall this afternoon where they’ll kick off the countdown to the #EarthshotPrize Award Ceremony taking place on Friday. https://t.co/IFzjSsipiz
— Victoria Arbiter (@victoriaarbiter) November 30, 2022
Yet both Kerry and Kennedy wound up being noticeably absent from the Earthshot Prize event Wednesday
“Kerry, the presidential envoy for climate, informed the Prince and Princess earlier today that he would ‘sadly no longer be able to attend,’ but did not clarify why,” the Daily Mail has confirmed.
“Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy who is currently serving as the US Ambassador to Australia, said she experienced ‘disrupted travel plans’ due to the harsh weather lashing the east coast,” according to the Daily Mail.
Critics say the timing of the snubs is suspicious given what’s happening at this very moment in the U.K., where the Royal Family is currently facing a so-called “race row.”
“Lady Susan Hussey, 83, resigned Wednesday as an honorary member of the royal household after the chief executive of an east London women’s refuge said Hussey repeatedly asked her where she ‘really came from’ after she told the older woman that she was British. The exchange took place at a Buckingham Palace reception for those working to end domestic violence,” according to the Associated Press.
Hussey’s actions have sparked a deep debate in the U.K., with some saying she did nothing wrong, and others saying her actions exemplify why the British monarchy needs to die:
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry told you of racism in Royal Family & household. But she was vilified, abused & violated for speaking the truth.
Ngozi Fulani’s experience with Lady Susan Hussey wasn’t isolated, one off or a ‘bad apple’ at Buckingham Palace.
You can’t reform this. pic.twitter.com/CdXBD02Tss
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) November 30, 2022
The good ol yeah, but where are you REALLY from? And these people tried to act like Meghan Markle made it all up. SMH… Also this isn’t just a random *staff member* — it’s Prince William’s GODMOTHER, Lady Susan Hussey. https://t.co/sifBAYKI50
— Liz Courquet-Lesaulnier (@losangelista) November 30, 2022
Lady Susan Hussey is 83, and she said a stupid thing at 83. She has been utterly dedicated to serving the Royal Family and this country. When/if you all reach 83, I sincerely hope you don’t have your name dragged through the press for saying something offensive.
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) November 30, 2022
Re. Lady Susan Hussey, I often use taxis in my town. I sometimes ask the driver where he’s from, as the accent’s familiar. We then have a good chat about places we both know. Nothing racist about it. Abroad, I get asked where I’m from. That then leads to a chat about football♂️
— Henry Bolton OBE (@_HenryBolton) November 30, 2022
William, for his part, responded to the row prior to his arrival in Boston by releasing a statement through his spokesperson.
“I was really disappointed to hear about the guests experience at Buckingham Palace last night. Obviously, I wasn’t there, but racism has no place in our society. The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect,” the spokesperson said.
Dovetailing back to the Earthshot Prize competition, it incidentally reportedly began with a leftist reverend, Mariama White-Hammond, delivering a diatribe about the so-called “legacy of colonialism and racism.”
“On this day, I invite us all to consider the legacy of colonialism and racism. The ways it has impacted people across the world and its connection, its deep connection to the degradation of land and our planet that we are all seeking to reverse. The stories lost, the species made extinct, but also the persistence of people in the face of oppression and the fundamental dignity of all of our relations,” White-Hammond said.
While she made no mention of Hussey, the irony wasn’t lost on critics.
Nevertheless, after White-Hammond spoke, William and Middleton reportedly took the stage as if nothing unusual had just occurred.
“William stepped out onto the stage with a smile on his face … to express his ‘delight’ at hosting his first engagement in Boston,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Catherine and I are absolutely delighted to be with you today, for our first engagement in the great city of Boston, as we start the countdown to the Earthshot Prize Awards this Friday,” he said.
— Fifi ❤️ The Waleses / Cambridges (@hellen3030) November 30, 2022
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