The picture is hanging in the room at the UN where William met the President of Ecuador
The eye-catching portrait by Andy Warhol is as iconic in the art world as the late monarch was during her 70-year reign and is hanging in the residence of the Consul General at UN Plaza. It was there that William met the President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, during the United Nations General Assembly.
Poignantly for the Prince of Wales, 41, the meeting came exactly a year after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, who died on Sept. 8 last year.
Taking place in the week focusing on the climate and as Prince William prepared to unveil the latest finalists of his Earthshot Prize that seeks to find answers to the environmental issues the world faces, they spoke about the efforts being made to counter the threats to the planet.
The Prince of Wales said that he'd been reminding himself "of all the fantastic work that Ecuador has done” for the environment. During the meeting, William praised Ecuador’s positive leadership in fighting plastics pollution and noted the U.K. government supports Ecuador’s desire to host the signing of a new internationally binding treaty in the Galapagos Islands.
Prince William's staff point out that Ecuador is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and has been working hard to introduce ambitious, innovative climate change solutions. The country is taking important steps to protect its forests and oceans and mobilizing green finance while promoting the inclusion of local communities. It has led globally in biodiversity protection, tackling plastic pollution and nature financing.
It was one of those meetings that will further enhance Prince William’s growing reputation on the world stage, something that he has stepped up since becoming Prince of Wales and heir to the throne after the death of his grandmother.
Prince William is on a two-day visit to the city, where he hopes to further enhance his campaign for the planet, including the promotion of his Earthshot Prize, which seeks to garner what the royal calls "urgent optimism" as it finds solutions to solve the planet's crises.
At the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit later on Tuesday, he will unveil the 15 finalists vying for the 2023 awards.
When he arrived at Newark airport in New Jersey on Monday, he said in a statement issued by his office at Kensington Palace, "No one does optimism and ingenuity like the American people, so it’s only right we unveil this year's Earthshot finalists in New York City."
He continued, "Eighty years ago, the world came together in this great city to find a new way, through the UN, to solve our shared challenges. I know our generation can take the bold action we need to make changes toward a healthy and sustainable world. The challenge may feel huge, but as John F. Kennedy taught us, we rise to the challenge not because it is easy, but because it is hard. And vital."
Prince William was scheduled to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York City last year, but he was forced to cancel the trip stateside after the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth.
Addressing the event by video message, the Prince of Wales said, "Although it is the saddest of circumstances that means I cannot join you in person today, I am pleased to join you in video form as you gather in New York for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit. During this time of grief, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to the Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve."
"Protecting the environment was a cause close to my grandmother's heart, and I know she would have been delighted to hear about this event and the support you're all giving our Earthshot finalists, the next generation of environmental pioneers," he added.
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