Prince William criticised for holding Earthshot Prize overseas: 'Practice what you preach'

Watch: Duke of Cambridge announces The Earthshot Prize will be held in Boston in December 2022

Prince William has received backlash on social media for announcing this year's Earthshot Prize will be hosted in the US.

As the annual event – which began last year – awards five winners for their contributions to environmentalism, many have hailed the decision to hold the next ceremony in Boston as hypocritical.

While no official travel plans have yet been confirmed, it is expected that William and Kate, both 40, will be in attendance at the event in the US, which will be broadcasted to a global audience.

"The @EarthshotPrize is back and this year, we're heading to Boston!", the official account for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Tweeted and shared on Instagram, with an accompanying video.

"Five more winners. Game-changing solutions. More potential to save our planet. Boston, we'll see you in December #EarthshotBoston2022."

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Prince William and Kate Earthshot Prize. (Getty Images)
Prince William launched the Earthshot Prize in 2020, with the first event in 2021. (Getty Images)

The event will celebrate 15 global finalists and award five winners of The Earthshot Prize, who will receive £1m to help grow their solution across five categories or 'earthshots', which are protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world and fix our climate.

But, for some, the chosen location has received the most attention.

"Maybe practice what you preach?" suggested one user, in response to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announcing the news via their Twitter account.

"Am assuming saving the planet involves you getting the train to Boston Lincolnshire, not a plane to Boston U.S ?," another person commented on the platform.

"How about not flying to Boston and appearing via Zoom or similar," echoed a user.

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Another tweeted: "Earthshot goals: Protect and restore nature; Fix our climate; Clean our air; Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world. This is entirely consistent with a Royal entourage travelling from the UK to the US."

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks during a meeting with Earthshot prize winners and finalists at the Glasgow Science Center on the sidelines of the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit on November 2, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. 2021 sees the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference. The conference will run from 31 October for two weeks, finishing on 12 November. It was meant to take place in 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alastair Grant - Pool/Getty Images)
There's no mention of how Earthshot is planning to offset the carbon emissions of the event. (Getty Images)

The announcement comes after William and Kate were recently filmed climbing into a helicopter with their three children, Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, seven, and Louis, four, in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

While this is just speculation as there's been no confirmation of where the family of five were travelling to, one user wrote, "Was that you and the family travelling by helicopter from central London to airport and onto Mustique for your holidays… Yeah EarthShotPrize."

One also Tweeted: "I know how concerned you are about the environment and carbon footprints and would never wish to contribute to climate change by unnecessary air travel….."

"Walk the talk," pleaded another.

Britain's Prince William (C) and US businessman Michael Bloomberg (2ndR) stand with Earthshot Prize winners and finalists Vidyut Mohan (L) for Clean Air, Vaitea Cowan (2ndL) for Fix our Environment and Sam Teicher (R) for Revive our Oceans at the Glasgow Science Centre on the sidelines of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow on November 2, 2021. (Photo by Alastair Grant / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALASTAIR GRANT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince William and US businessman Michael Bloomberg with Earthshot Prize winners and finalists in 2021. (Getty Images)

However, others across both social platforms have seen that the 'good' of the event across the pond outweighs the 'bad'.

"This is business trip, where they will also bring their Earthshot team," acknowledged one on Twitter. "The winner will get £1M prize each and there will be five winners. They doing more than the average people using cars and planes."

"I do think some of the comments about them flying to America are kind of harsh," added another. "I understand it but until there is a better way to cross continents and countries not much of a choice. Sure there’s Zoom. But how anticlimactic. Good for Boston I say."

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And some are just excited for the event, particularly those in the US. "Oh yay!!! My hometown. Can’t wait to welcome you here!!", said one on Instagram, while others chimed in with "Can’t wait for December!!".

David Oyelowo (left) announces Takachar, from India, as the winner of the Clean Our Air award on stage during the first Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace on October 17, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Yui Mok  - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
David Oyelowo (left) announces Takachar, from India, as the winner of the Clean Our Air award on stage during the first Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in London, October 2021. (Getty Images)

While the event was hosted in London's Alexandra Palace last year, the awards ceremony was always intended to take place in 10 different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030. As with its inaugural ceremony in 2021, guests will be encouraged not to fly in for the ceremony.

On The Earthshot Prize official press release on its website, there's no mention of how it's planning to offset the carbon emissions of the mass project.

However, a Kensington Palace representative has confirmed that Prince William "always offsets his carbon footprint" but did not provide further details.