In Spring 2022, Prince William and Kate Middleton took a trip to the Caribbean to honor Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Though their tour has been remembered primarily for negative headlines about protests and Jamaica’s decision to ditch the monarchy, the couple also spent plenty of time outside enjoying nature. At the time, they announced that they intended to visit the first winners of the Earthshot Prize, the award William founded to spotlight solutions for climate change, during the tour.
Now, more than a year after the trip, their YouTube channel has shared footage of a scuba diving trip in the Bahamas where they saw the work of Coral Vita, the winner of the 2021 prize in the Revive Our Oceans category. The Grand Bahama-based company uses coral farming methods to design and build technology to help restore reefs across the world. The company’s CEO Sam Teicher welcomed William and Kate to the beach where the Coral Vita team was being filmed when they found out they had won the prize the previous fall.
In the video, Kate and William are seen jumping off the back of a boat and swimming with flippers and diving gear. The prince explained the purpose of diving to see the project’s work in action. “Being able to see the good coral and the degraded coral and understanding the difference between the two and what needs to go where—I think that was really fascinating for me to finally understand,” he said. It’s quite technical, the way they do the coral farming and research, so I think to actually see it all being screwed in and built up is really fantastic.”
William also explained how Coral Vita fit into his larger vision for the prize. “There’s limitless scope for what the Earthshot looks for,” he said. “The whole point of it is that it’s a global platform to really raise the profile of smaller voices or extraordinary solutions that might not have made it onto the global stage yet, to say look this idea has got legs and we can make it bigger and we can make it better. If we want to have meaningful change and we want to repair our planet, these next ten years are critical.”
Though Kate and William swam in the Bahamas back in March 2022, the video is being released as a part of a larger social media push after the five winners for 2023 were announced at a ceremony in Singapore last week. Along with more YouTube videos about the prize, William also sat for a Q&A session on his Instagram account last week.
Listen to Vanity Fair’s DYNASTY podcast now.