Prince William Told Cate Blanchett He's a "Stubborn Optimist" When It Comes to Preserving the Environment

He was a guest on her podcast.

Prince William with Cate Blanchett
(Image credit: Leigh Kelly)

If you're going to start a podcast about environmentalism, getting HRH Prince William on as a guest is one pretty good way to promote it. Being Cate Blanchett, of course, is another.

The Australian actress has launched the Climate of Change podcast on Audible with co-host Danny Kennedy, and the pair invited the Duke of Cambridge to speak about his love of the environment on their second episode.

Blanchett brought up the Royal Foundation's Earthshot Prize, for which she was on the judging panel, and for which Kennedy's organization New Energy Nexus was nominated. She asked the duke how he came up with the idea for the prize.

"The genesis of the idea bred from a feeling rather than anything else, so again, just before the Earthshot Prize, I'd been to Namibia, and I was just so blown away by the locals there and the work being done," the royal revealed.

"And it was really giving me real positivity, real hope that we're doing this, and look, communities are thriving, but also the wildlife are thriving. And I get home, and I read the newspapers and I see articles and I talk to people, and the doom and gloom starts to set in more about the sort of bigger picture. And that contrast between some of the amazing things that are going on the ground versus the narrative and the general feeling amongst most people, that sort of contrast really bothered me.

"I thought, 'come on, how do we... if we're gonna get anywhere here, there's a lot of amazing people who've been doing this a lot longer than I've been talking about climate change. How do we get their voices heard more? How do we inspire people to say we can fix this?' So the Earthshot Prize came out and evolved slowly from that."

Later on in the conversation, the duke called himself a "stubborn optimist" who believes we can see real change in the health of the planet over the course of our lifetimes—and that it's not in fact all doom and gloom, as long as we work in the right direction.

"To coin Christiana Figueres' phrase, 'stubborn optimist'—I think is sort of where I'm feeling quite like I'm at the moment," he said. "She's given me a lot of hope that this can happen, and I believe it and I'm seeing it with my own eyes—it's everyone doing their bit, and helping and supporting what we're trying to do, it's all of us in it together. I really think it can be done in much quicker time than we anticipate, because the solutions are out there."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.