Queen Rania pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s ‘sense of duty’ and ‘resilience’

NEW YORK, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Queen Rania of Jordan paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at Prince William’s Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit on Wednesday, two days after attending the late monarch’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen was “someone who focused, engaged and demonstrated what can be achieved when you show steadfastness and longevity,” Ardern said at the launch event for this year’s Earthshot Prize Awards, which will be held in Boston on Dec. 2.

“We need all of these qualities to meet all of the environmental challenges ahead,” Ardern added.

The Prince of Wales created the Environment Awards in 2020 to promote and fund solutions that will help the planet over the next decade.

He did not attend this year’s summit after the death of his grandmother because the royal mourning period lasts until next week.

Ardern said she was “humbled” to have been asked to speak on behalf of the prince.

“I am an exceptionally poor substitute” for the prince, Ardern said, adding that he would be joining the summit via virtual message. “But we all understand that His Royal Highness needs to be with his family at this point.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her husband Clarke Gayford attend 9.19.

WPA Pool via Getty Images

Queen Rania, a member of the Earthshot Prize Council, began Wednesday’s speech by thanking William “for his leadership and vision, which he always champions, much like his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth”.

“She has set the bar incredibly high with her deep sense of duty and resilience,” Jordan’s Queen said. “May she rest in everlasting peace.”

Queen Elizabeth II, Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, Queen Rania and King Abdullah II and Princess Anne at a private audience at Buckingham Palace in 2019.
Queen Elizabeth II, Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, Queen Rania and King Abdullah II and Princess Anne at a private audience at Buckingham Palace in 2019.

The Prince of Wales will travel to Boston later this year for the 2022 Earthshot Prize Awards. Hannah Jones, CEO of the Earthshot Prize, told HuffPost that people can expect entertainment and inspiration from December’s awards ceremony. Last year the show featured performances from Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Shawn Mendes, Nigerian singer Yemi Alade and English rapper KSI.

“Most importantly, you’ll see solutions that capture your imagination and make you feel really urgent and optimistic that we have it within our reach to make change,” Jones said in an interview at the Plaza Hotel, adding that Earthshot really aims to do that from “being the antidote to climate anxiety”.

“We want people to realize, yes, we all have to be concerned. There is a climate crisis and there are so many really challenging issues happening in the world right now,” she said. “But there’s a whole movement out there that we’re not seeing yet, of people using their lives, their minds and their talents to solve the world’s problems and find solutions.”

Jones said she hopes this year’s awards program “will inspire everyone and rekindle the American mindset of making the seemingly impossible possible.”

Earthshot Prize CEO Hannah Jones speaks onstage during the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.  The summit was co-hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Earthshot Prize CEO Hannah Jones speaks onstage during the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit. The summit was co-hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Monica Schipper via Getty Images

Jones said the initiative “couldn’t be more enthusiastic” about hosting the awards show in Boston this year, given the “great source of inspiration” Earthshot drew from President John F. Kennedy, who was born in the Boston area.

“As you know, it’s the 60th anniversary of ‘Moonshot,'” she said. “And that was really a huge source of inspiration for Prince William as he created the Earthshot Prize to try and inspire what President Kennedy was inspiring in the American people.”

The former president unleashed “a wave of innovation that would not only put a man on the moon and back home safely, but would actually change forever economic and social progress, but also the mindset around it,” Jones said.