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Prince, princess of Wales arrive in Boston for environmental awards

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The prince and princess of Wales, William and Kate, arrived in Boston Wednesday for a three-day visit to attend the Earthshot Prize Awards. The royal couple are joined by Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu to light the city's civic building and other landmarks green. Photo courtesy of Kensington Royal
The prince and princess of Wales, William and Kate, arrived in Boston Wednesday for a three-day visit to attend the Earthshot Prize Awards. The royal couple are joined by Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu to light the city's civic building and other landmarks green. Photo courtesy of Kensington Royal

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The prince and princess of Wales arrived in Boston Wednesday, their first overseas trip since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and their first trip to the United States in eight years, to attend the second annual Earthshot Prize Awards recognizing achievement in environmental work.

Prince William and Princess Catherine, who will be in Boston for three days, were greeted Wednesday at Boston Logan International Airport by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

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"It was wonderful to welcome their Royal Highnesses the prince and princess of Wales to Boston this afternoon on behalf of the Commonwealth," the governor tweeted. "Massachusetts is a national leader in climate change and innovation, and we are excited to host the @EarthshotPrize here."

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From the airport, William and Kate traveled to City Hall where hundreds of people gathered outside in the pouring rain to get a glimpse of the royal couple.

Prince William thanked Boston's residents "for their many tributes paid to the late queen," saying his grandmother often recalled her 1976 bicentennial visit to Boston "with great fondness."

William told the crowd he and his wife, Catherine, were "absolutely delighted to be with you today, for our first engagement in the great city of Boston, as we start the countdown to The Earthshot Prize Awards this Friday."

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This year's awards will feature 15 finalists with five winners receiving $1 million to further their work in solving climate change, restoring the environment, eliminating waste and revitalizing oceans.

The Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony will be held Friday night at the MGM Music Hall in Boston and will air on PBS in the United States, on BBC in Britain and on Multichoice in Africa before being available to watch on YouTube starting Dec. 4.

In addition to the awards, the royal couple will spend the next few days meeting with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, making stops at Harvard University, and touring the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy.

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"Like President Kennedy, Catherine and I firmly believe that we all have it in ourselves to achieve great things, and that human beings have the ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve," William said as he called Boston "the obvious choice" for this year's ceremony.

"Your universities, research centers and vibrant start-up scene make you a global leader in science, innovation and boundless ambition," the prince of Wales added.

Prince William and Princess Catherine formally kicked off Boston's Earthshot celebrations as they joined Mayor Wu and Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey to light the civic building and other landmarks in green.

The couple capped off their first day in Boston with courtside seats at the Boston Celtics game against the Miami Heat.

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