Queen Elizabeth's Portrait Alongside Prince William One Year After Her Funeral Gives Us Chills

William, Prince of Wales, is in New York City on a solo trip for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit. At the summit, he announced the finalists for the Earthshot Prize, an initiative that he co-founded that annually awards £1 million to five winners for their environmental innovations. While in New York, he spent some time at the Billion Oyster Project on Governors Island, which is helping restore oyster reefs in New York's harbor, he met with the United Nations Secretary General at the UN Headquarters, and he spoke with Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, President of Ecuador.

His meeting with the president of Ecuador was in the British Consul General's official residence at UN Plaza, and he was joined, in a way, by Queen Elizabeth. An Andy Warhol portrait of the late queen was prominent in the background as Prince William spoke with President Mendoza. But what's particularly touching is not just that he was being watched over by his grandmother, it's that the meeting took place on the one-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's funeral.

Queen Elizabeth would have been proud of Prince William's Earthshot work

While speaking with President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, William, Prince of Wales noted how impressed he was with the country's environmental initiatives. Ecuador was the first country to enshrine protections for nature in its constitution in 2008. Prince William's visit to New York City for the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit was actually meant to happen in 2022, but it had to be rescheduled after Queen Elizabeth's death on September 8, 2022, and the national days of mourning that ensued.

In lieu of attending in person in 2022, Prince William recorded a video message for the summit, in which he said, "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're all giving our Earthshot finalists, the next generation of environmental pioneers," as reported by The Guardian. It sounds like the queen would have been proud of her grandson's work, and we're glad she was there, if only in a portrait, with Prince William in New York this year.

Prince William has stepped up in the year since Queen Elizabeth died, showing himself to be an international leader, particularly with environmental and climate change initiatives. He was joined by other major players on the world stage at the summit in New York City, including Bill Gates, Caroline Kennedy, and Jacinda Arden, former New Zealand prime minister.