The Prince of Wales has expressed his desire to take a more proactive approach than his family in driving substantial change for the causes he supports. During the last day of his four-day visit to Singapore for the Earthshot Prize awards, Prince William spoke to British print media, acknowledging the royal family's work in shedding light on various causes but emphasizing his intention to be more than just a patron.
One of the longstanding issues close to William's heart is homelessness, and he has committed to addressing it over the years, having launched his Homewards project in June. He outlined his ambitions, which go beyond mere patronage, to contribute to the construction of homes and the provision of mental health support, education, and employment opportunities.
William articulated his vision, saying, “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; I care about so many things, and previously the family has been very effective in spotlighting various causes. However, I want to go a step further – I want to bring about actual change and involve people at the table who can effect change if I can't.”
The future King further elaborated, “And so it's all about progressing, helping, and advancing particular social causes that need more support. I've been involved in the homelessness sector for a long time now. Instead of just being a patron, I want to do more. I want to build the homes, provide them with mental support, and address their employment and education needs.”
Prince William stressed the importance of providing comprehensive services, delving deeper and committing for the long term, rather than superficially supporting multiple causes. He underlined the need to demonstrate intent and enhance the prospects of those in need.
“But you have to remain focused. If you spread yourself too thin, you can't effectively manage it, and you won't achieve the impact or change you desire,” he cautioned.
The Prince's statements followed his attendance at the third annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, held on Tuesday evening, which acknowledges solutions aimed at “repairing” the planet. During the event, five winners received £1 million each to support their efforts in scaling innovative climate and environmental solutions.
Reflecting on the ceremony, Prince William revealed, “I'm still digesting the experience, and Earthshot is still in full swing, with numerous meetings happening. This year feels even bigger than the last, so we're making progress and building as we go.”
He stressed the importance of expanding the reach of the Earthshot Prize, noting, “I think that's the key aim: every year, we've got to get bigger and reach more people. The profile is massive, so we need to make it even more significant and better. This is the first time we've come into Asia, so it's vital for the Asian market to become familiar with us and understand the purpose of the prize. We've primarily focused on the Western regions, including the UK and Boston. So, it's all about figuring out: where do we go next? How do we connect the dots?”
The Prince emphasized the significance of impact investment, stating that Earthshot is not merely an awards 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 we can achieve by scaling up and spotlighting these incredible individuals with brilliant solutions. We need to connect more dots between policy regulators, government funding, and then blend it all together to witness the impact it generates,” Prince William concluded.