Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

Prince William unveils bold new plan for future of the monarchy

Reflecting on his first year as Prince of Wales, he said he wanted to focus on a smaller number of causes than members of the Royal Family have traditionally done to avoid spreading himself too thinly.

In a short interview with the British print media who have travelled to Singapore with him for four days of events around the Earthshot Prize awards, he singled out his hope of ending homelessness in the UK as an example of his new approach.

Asked about his first year as heir to the throne, he said: “So I think the thing that ties it all together for me is about social leadership.

“That’s what I’m trying to find my way in is I care about so many things and previously the family have been very much spotlighting brilliantly and going round and highlighting lots.

“I want to go a step further: I want to actually bring change and I want to bring people to the table who can do the change if I can’t do it.

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“And so it’s all about progressing, helping and advancing particular social causes that need to be given more support.”

He spoke about his new campaign to end homelessness and his hopes of building social housing to help alleviate the problem on his Duchy of Cornwall hereditary estate as well as working with partners such as local authorities and housing associations to help encourage them to do more to solve the problem.

“I’ve been in the homelessness sector for a long time now, and so rather than just being patron I want to do more, I want to actually build the homes, I want to provide them with the mental support, all the employment and the education they might need,” he said.

“So it’s all these wraparound services, it’s kind of going deeper and longer than it is the case of just having loads of causes that you sort of turn up and keep an eye on.

“It’s more about how do I show my intent more? How do we do more for you? And give you a better, better future.

“But you have to remain focused, if you spread yourself too thin you just can’t manage it and you won’t deliver the impact or the change that you really want to happen.”

In the same way he wants to use his Earthshot Prize to encourage practical ways for the entire world to combat climate change and other environmental crises.

William, who was on the final day of his Singapore visit, intends to take the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony around the world between now and 2030.

The first one was in London in 2021 and the second was in Boston in the US last year. After the third one in Singapore on Tuesday, he is hoping to take it somewhere else next time.

“I think I’m still digesting after last night’s awards ceremony, sometimes it takes a while just to kind of percolate through as to what’s happened,” he said.

“We’re still on the go, doing loads of meetings so I think the big thing for me is that this year feels bigger than last year, so we’re progressing and we’re building as we go.

“I think that’s the key aim is that every year we’ve got to get bigger and reach more people – the profile is massive so we need to make that bigger and better. And this is the first time we’ve come into Asia, so it’s important the Asian market see us know what the actual prize is.

“We’ve predominantly obviously done Western with the UK and Boston. So I think it’s all about working out where do we go next? How do we join the dots?”

“You’ve just seen downstairs the impact investment side, that’s really crucial. Because we’re not just an award ceremony. People think this is philanthropy.”

“They think it’s just a prize ceremony. It’s not, this is so much more. It’s about how much impact can we achieve by scaling and building up and spotlighting these incredible people with brilliant solutions, we’ve just got to join some more dots between policy regulators government’s money, and then you blend it all together and then see the impact from that.”

William was speaking at Earthshot+, a post-awards summit aimed at working out how to multiply the impact of the £50 million in prizes over 10 years for environmental innovation tackling the planet’s biggest green challenges.

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