Duke of Cambridge uses night full of ‘optimism, joy and hope’ to highlight environmental issues. Good evening everyone. It’s so wonderful to be here with you on this incredible night, and great to see Buckingham Palace turned into an IMAX screen!As I watch those extraordinary images, it does make me think of all the monumental and pioneering work of so many visionary environmentalists that have gone before.
I’m so proud that my grandfather and my father have been part of those efforts. And I’m in awe of people like the great Sir David Attenborough, who look at the beauty and power of our Earth and then work to celebrate and preserve it.I think of Rachel Carson from America, Wangari Maathai from Kenya, Sunita Narain from India and so many others.
While no one’s grandmother thanks them for talking about their age, my own grandmother has been alive for nearly a century. In that time, mankind has benefited from unimaginable technological developments and scientific breakthroughs.
And although those breakthroughs have increased our awareness of the impact humans have on our world, our planet has become more fragile.Today, in 2022 – as the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee – the pressing need to protect and restore our planet has never been more urgent.But like her, I am an optimist. Decades of making the case for taking better care of our world has meant that environmental issues are now at the top of the global agenda.More and more businesses and politicians are answering the call. And – perhaps most inspiringly – this cause is now being spearheaded by an amazing and united generation of young people across the world.
Congratulations to all of them – they won’t accept the status quo, they won’t accept that change is too difficult to deliver. Never before have we had so much power to change the big things.In the past 70 years mankind has put man on the moon; we have built the World Wide Web. And we have developed vaccines and solutions to some of the most life-threatening diseases on Earth. When humankind focuses its mind, anything is possible.It’s my firm hope that my grandmother’s words are as true in 70 years’ time as they are tonight that as nations we come together in common cause, because then there is always room for hope.
Tonight has been full of such optimism and joy – and there is hope. Together, if we harness the very best of humankind, and restore our planet, we will protect it for our children, for our grandchildren and for future generations to come.They will be able to say – with pride at what’s been achieved – “What a Wonderful World”.