NEW YORK — Prince William landed in New York on Monday and immediately did the thing most New Yorkers would never dream of doing.
The Prince of Wales entered the East River, waders and all, with the Manhattan skyline in the background.
While most city dwellers actively try to avoid contact with water, William walked in as part of an event organized as part of the Billion Oyster Project. The nonprofit is working to restore 1 billion oysters to New York Harbor by 2035.
The visual of the royal entering and being in the water is very important, according to Agata Poniatowski, public outreach manager for the Billion Oyster Project. Poniatowski waded into the water alongside the prince, who she said was “really, really excited” about the activity.
“Having the prince join us here in the water in New York changes that view of the water, where people think it’s so dirty, it’s so disgusting,” she told reporters , including at HuffPost, after the release. “But actually, you know, the water is swimmable on certain days of the week. We want to work on this change of perspective, and the prince has really helped us in this sense.
The royal’s outing with the organization first took him to Governor’s Island by boat on Monday, just after his commercial flight from the United Kingdom landed.
After meeting restaurateurs, volunteers, staff and students involved in the project on the island, he took another boat to Brooklyn Bridge Park, where he jumped in the water to look at the oysters.
He then met with 12-year-old students from Harbor Middle School and measured the oysters with them.
The prince is in town on behalf of his environmental initiative, The Earthshot Prize. The 15 finalists for this year’s awards will be revealed Tuesday at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit, co-hosted by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies.
During the Prince of Wales’s stay in New York – which also coincides with New York Climate Week – the heir to the throne met the UN Secretary-General on Monday, ahead of the 78th session of the General Assembly of ONU.
Upon landing at Newark Airport, the royal said it was “so good to be back in the States.”
“No one demonstrates optimism and ingenuity like the American people, so it’s only fitting that we unveil this year’s Earthshot finalists in New York,” he said.
William is also expected to meet with first responders in Manhattan on Tuesday. The royal, who was an emergency first responder when he was a helicopter pilot, is expected to speak to firefighters about their jobs and mental health.
“He is aware that he is making this visit just days after 9/11, where many of the people he will meet tomorrow remember those who went missing on 9/11 itself,” a spokesperson said Monday morning from Kensington Palace.
The Prince of Wales was originally scheduled to visit New York last September, but his trip was canceled due to the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
The palace spokesperson said the prince was delighted to meet New Yorkers this week and appreciated their understanding when his trip was canceled last year.
“As he previously noted, the prince was incredibly grateful for the love and support shown by the American people during this time,” the spokesperson said. “And he’s grateful and continues to be.” And he’s really looking forward to being back in New York this week and hopefully meeting as many New Yorkers as possible.
The Prince of Wales last visited New York in 2014 with his wife, Kate Middleton.
The Prince and Princess of Wales also visited the United States last year, when they visited Boston in November. HuffPost covered their royal tour, which also included attending the 2022 Earthshot Prize ceremony.
Ahead of the awards ceremony in Boston, William also wrote an exclusive essay for HuffPost in which he calls himself a “stubborn optimist” when it comes to the future of the Earth.
“Disastrous predictions about our natural world are not the only part of this story, and they need not be about our future,” he wrote at the time. “During this critical decade, I invite you all to be optimistic, to support game-changers, and to believe in the power of human ingenuity. »
The Huffington Gt