William and Kate To Undertake U.S. Visit in December, Prince Confirms

The Prince and Princess of Wales will travel to Boston in early December for the second annual Earthshot Prize awards, William said during a video address on Wednesday.

The visit will mark the couple's first official trip to the U.S. since 2014, when they undertook a series of engagements in New York and Washington, D.C.

Boston was announced in July as the host city for the awards ceremony, with the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation serving as a host partner, alongside Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu.

Prince and Princess of Wales Visit U.S.
The Prince of Wales photographed delivering a video address to the Earthshot Innovation Summit, September 2022. William said he and his wife, the Princess of Wales (inset), will travel to Boston in December for the second annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony. The Earthshot Prize/Bloomberg Philanthropies/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The prince's special video message was played during the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York on Wednesday, which the royal was due to attend.

William cancelled his trip because of the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II on September 8.

The royal family, in accordance with the wishes of King Charles III, is in mourning for the late queen until one week after the state funeral, which took place on Monday.

"Although it is the saddest of circumstances that means I cannot join you in person today, I am pleased to be able to join you in video form as you gather in New York for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit," William said in his address.

"During this time of grief, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to The Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve.

"Protecting the environment was a cause close to my grandmother's heart, and I know she would have been delighted to hear about this event and the support you are all giving our Earthshot Finalists—the next generation of environmental pioneers."

Continuing to speak about the need for global solutions for the challenges facing the environment today, challenges which Earthshot seeks out and helps to scale up, William said of the 2022 Boston ceremony in December.

"I can think of no better home for The Earthshot Prize in its second year than the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy, from whom we have taken so much inspiration," William said.

"I'm delighted that his daughter, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, is with you at the summit today.

"Both Catherine and I are so excited to be coming to Boston in December, and we look forward to seeing you all very soon."

Prince and Princess of Wales in NYC
The Prince and Princess of Wales (when Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 9, 2014. The couple's first visit to the U.S. for five years will see them travel to Boston in December for the second annual Earthshot Prize awards. James Devaney/GC Images

The announcement of the visit to the U.S. will bring with it speculation over whether or not the royal couple will meet with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their stay.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to California in 2020, where they live with their two children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, in the Montecito area of Santa Barbara.

So far, since their move, no senior member of the royal family has publicly visited the Sussexes at their new residence.

Relations between William, Harry and their spouses appeared to reach a rapprochement in the days following the death of the queen.

The Sussexes were staying in the U.K. on a pre-arranged visit when the news of the queen's ill health came. After her death, the Waleses and Sussexes appeared together for the first time since 2020 to view floral tributes outside Windsor Castle.

In the days leading up to, and including, the monarch's state funeral, the couples also attended events together with the wider royal family.

Waleses and Sussexes Together in Mourning
The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex photographed together in Windsor following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, September 19, 2022. In December, the Waleses are set to visit the U.S., where Harry and Meghan have been living since 2020. Kirsty O'Connor - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Whether the apparent truce in the relationship, described by Harry as "one of distance," will hold in the coming months remains to be seen.

The December trip will also mark William and Kate's first to the country as Prince and Princess of Wales, the new titles they were given by King Charles when he ascended to the throne.

The last time a Princess of Wales visited the U.S. was in June 1997, when Princess Diana attended charity events in Washington, D.C, just weeks before her death in a Paris car crash, 25 years ago this year.