Coldplay in pedal-powered performance to launch William’s Earthshot Prize

The Duke of Cambridge’s Earthshot Prize was launched with a special performance by Coldplay, powered by 60 people pedalling bicycles.

The musicians staged a colourful show, recorded on Monday, that kicked off the inaugural ceremony for William’s ambitious environmental prize aimed at finding solutions to repair the planet.

Guests arrived at Alexandra Palace in north London on the aptly coloured Green carpet and were encouraged to think sustainably when choosing their outfits.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a 10-year-old Alexander McQueen dress and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson looked chic in an outfit made from 10 up-cycled wedding dresses from Oxfam.

In a video message pre-recorded from the London Eye William said: “Today the warning sounds around the world are clear.

“We don’t need a Moonshot, we need Earthshots.

“Each year for the next 10 years we will award five prizes, one for each Earthshot, to those who bring hope into our future.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for the first Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace (Alberto Pezzali/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for the first Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace (Alberto Pezzali/PA)

William said many of the answers to mitigate the challenges the earth faces are “out there” but “we need everyone from all parts of society to raise their ambition and unite in repairing out planet.

“The future is ours to determine, but if we set out minds to it nothing is impossible.”

William’s Earthshot Prize takes its inspiration from the Apollo moon landings, nicknamed Moonshot, which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements.

Dame Emma Thompson
Dame Emma Thompson (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

It features five categories, or Earthshots – Protect and restore nature; Clean our air, Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world; and Fix our climate – which organisers say, if achieved by 2030, would improve life for all.

No stars have flown to London and guests were asked by organisers to “consider the environment when choosing their outfit”.

Speaking on her way into the event, Dame Emma criticised throwaway culture and said her parents would have been horrified by how society dumps its waste on the streets.

She said: “If we had shown my parents how people live (today) how they will wander down the streets and coffee cup, immediately throw it away, eat, throwaway, everything throwaway, they would’ve gone ‘what’s going on?’.”