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Royals visit US incubator, at-risk youth

William and Kate have toured a green start-up incubator and non-profit on their US visit that will culminate with the awarding of the prince’s Earthshot Prize.

December 2, 2022
By Mark Pratt and Michael Casey
2 December 2022

The Prince and Princess of Wales have visited a green technology start-up incubator in suburban Boston and seen an organisation that works to raise up young people struggling amid poverty and violence.

William and Kate, who are making their first overseas visit since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, were welcomed by hundreds of cheering onlookers at both locations, part of their three-day effort in the US to foster new ways to address climate change.

The visit started on Wednesday with a reception at Boston City Hall and a trip to a Boston Celtics basketball game. It culminates on Friday with the awarding of the prince’s signature Earthshot Prize, a global competition aimed at finding new ways to protect the planet and tackle climate change.

The trip also comes amid uproar back home over an 83-year-old honorary member of the royal household who reportedly asked the black chief executive of an east London women’s refuge where she “really came from” after she told the older woman that she was British.

Some said the incident was an example of wider issues of racism at Buckingham Palace.

On Thursday, William and Kate stopped by Roca Inc, a non-profit north of Boston that strives to halt the cycle of incarceration, poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, pregnancy and racism faced by young men and women ages 16 to 24, many of whom have lost trust and hope.

During the visit, the royal couple met with two young men and mothers involved in the program.

Before heading to Roca, the couple went to Greentown Labs in Somerville. Since its 2011 founding, the largest climate technology start-up incubator in North America has supported more than 500 companies that have created more than 9000 jobs.

The Earthshot Prize offers Stg1 million ($A1.8 million) in prize money to each of the winners of five separate categories: nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination and climate change.

The winners will be announced on Friday at Boston’s MGM Music Hall as part of a show headlined by Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle.

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