Prince William’s two-day trip to Poland saw him visit British and Polish troops, Ukrainian refugees, the Polish President Andrzej Duda and make a poignant visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, echoing Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s in 1996. Longstanding royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams noted the significance of the trip lay with him “being the ideal diplomat” to visit such a sensitive area.
“It shows Britain cares and is the ultimate use of soft power,” he told Express.co.uk, adding that it definitely boosted his global profile as such a visit carries worldwide interest.
A second commentator, Afua Hagan, agreed and said the visit perfectly demonstrated “the soft power the Royal Family has – and it works”. She added: “When you need someone to remind everyone that the UK is still here we roll out the Royal Family and that is his role and he has performed it.”
William’s Poland trip comes six months after he became the Prince of Wales and underscores his ambition to build his brand as he focuses on preparing to succeed his beloved father in the not-so-distant future.
His Earthshot Prize is the key to developing his global profile as he strives to make the award “the noble peace prize of the environment”, according to a source close to William.
“He’s either an advisor or surrogate Godfather”, she said, noting how he gets personally involved with every member of the Earthshot family. He actively connects them with potential funders, advisors and mentors to help find solutions, she added.
“It’s almost as if he’s becoming their personal champion, and trust me, he knows each one of them and their work really well.”
Currently, Earthshot is ramping up its plans to take the organisation global, with Ms Jones currently in Kuala Lumpur to develop new partnerships.
This year’s prizegiving is set to be hosted in a different part of the world, with the inaugural awards taking place in London and last year’s being hosted in Boston. The next location will be announced imminently.
But the drive to boost William’s global profile isn’t the only shift of focus as he is set to kickstart a new approach to the Duchy of Cornwall, which he succeeded from his father last September.
He is keen to take his work in other areas, such as Earthshot and the Royal Foundation, and apply that to the work of the Duchy – a completely private fund that consists of over 52,000 hectares of land, including farms, forests and residential properties, and £345million worth of commercial properties.
William and the team are currently exploring how to bring some of the solutions from the Eartshot Prize together to help support more sustainable journeys for the Duchy and its tenants.
“It’s very early days but he’s excited for the future”, an insider said, but they added: “The Prince of Wales is really excited in terms of bringing Earthshot finalists and the Duchy of Cornwall together to really bring about incredible sustainable outcomes that we will see right at home in the UK.”
In the same way, William is looking at how he can take the mental health work undertaken by the Royal Foundation and apply that to the Duchy. The team is currently aiming to launch the initiatives by the end of this year.
Earthshot is set to be front and centre of William’s agenda in the years to come, as he continues the legacy of his father and grandfather by pushing environmental causes to the fore while he simultaneously works on developing his brand as a global statesman.
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