The prince and princess of Wales are due to arrive in Boston on Wednesday, and they’ll be keeping a whirlwind schedule while they’re here.
Prince William and his wife, Catherine, will be in Boston for three days, culminating with their attendance at the Earthshot Prize, a star-studded awards ceremony at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway on Friday.
It will be the couple’s first trip to the United States since 2014, according to a statement by Kensington Palace.
The Boston event will be the second time the Earthshot Prize — an environmental award worth about $1.1 million — will be given to a group of innovators, selected by a panel of experts. In early November, 15 finalists were announced in five categories.
The itinerary for the royals includes visits to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Greentown Labs in Somerville, the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and Roca, a nonprofit in Chelsea that aims to fight poverty and racism and help high-risk young people.
Mayor Michelle Wu will meet William and Kate for a welcome event at City Hall Plaza at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The event will be open to the public, and will feature speeches by Wu, Prince William, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, and the Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Boston’s chief of environment, energy, and open space.
When they visit Roca in Chelsea on Thursday, William and Kate will meet with leaders of the nonprofit organization to learn about their “intervention model rooted in brain science” and outreach to young people, the statement from Kensington Palace said. They will then spend time with young people who have participated in Roca’s programs.
During their stop in Somerville on Thursday, the royal couple will meet with the CEO of Greentown Labs and the president of the Northeast Clean Energy Council “to learn about the history of Greentown Labs and how it is contributing to global efforts to address the climate crisis,” the statement said.
“The Prince and Princess will then spend time meeting with representatives from some of the start-ups within the Greentown Labs community to hear about the latest innovative developments in climate technology,” the statement continued.
On Friday, Kate will be stopping by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, where she will meet with researchers to discuss advances in science that can help children.
The princess of Wales will be making the visit “as part of her ongoing work to elevate the importance of the early years to lifelong outcomes,” the statement said.
Also on Friday, William is scheduled to meet with Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester and be given a tour of the museum.
“President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot — which challenged America to put man on the moon — is the key inspiration behind The Earthshot Prize and so His Royal Highness will take the opportunity to hear more about President Kennedy’s inspirational legacy and his connections to Boston,” the statement from Kensington Palace said. “During a tour of the Library and Museum, The Prince will see exhibits from the pivotal years of the Kennedy Administration in the 1960s, ahead of the moon landing in 1969.”
William will then attend a private lunch with representatives from the founding partner organizations of the Earthshot Prize.
Friday’s Earthshot Prize awards ceremony will be a glittering affair featuring performances by Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Chloe x Halle, and Ellie Goulding.
Hosts and presenters will include Catherine O’Hara, Clara Amfo, Daniel Dae Kim, Sir David Attenborough, Rami Malek, and Shailene Woodley.
In an interview on WBUR’s “Radio Boston” Monday morning, Mayor Michelle Wu said the visit by the prince and princess of Wales is exciting, comparing it to the time the late Queen Elizabeth visited in 1976.
“I can’t wait to show [Prince William and Princess Catherine] this new Boston, which is going to be just as exciting as a visit from the prince’s grandmother several decades ago.”
Wu described the Earthshot Prize, which the royals will be presenting on Friday, as “the Oscars of climate innovation” that celebrate and uplift “the foremost technologies around the world that give us a chance at solving climate change and repairing and restoring our planet.”
Boston is an apt city to present such awards as climate change continues to deeply affect the lives of residents here, Wu said in the interview, but the city is taking steps to address it through vehicle, housing, and energy innovations.
“We know that green is healthy,” Wu said. “Green also saves money so it’s really a win-win all around.”
Wu said there has been a lot of preparation and teamwork between the City of Boston and the John F. Kennedy Library, the other institution hosting the royal visit.
“We’re really excited about the itinerary, the issues that will be discussed, the chance to walk and see some of the infrastructure up close, even leading up to the award ceremony later in the week,” Wu said.
The prince and princess of Wales represent “a new generation of leadership and service,” Wu said, and she acknowledged the couple are “millennials now with young kids” who also represent “an institution that is hundreds and hundreds of years old and has very intense traditions and history.”
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