Princess Catherine’s Absence from the Earthshot Prize Awards This Year Will Leave Prince William “Kicking Himself,” Royal Expert Says

Jennie Bond calls the Princess of Wales’ choice to stay home “absolutely the right decision.”

Prince William puts a hand on the small of Kate Middleton's back at a gala
(Image credit: Getty)

After attending husband Prince William’s inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards in London in 2021 and then the second iteration in Boston in 2022, the Princess of Wales will reportedly not be in attendance for the third year of the awards ceremony, which will take place in Singapore next month. The reason? Her eldest son, Prince George, is said to be sitting for exams (possibly for entrance into Eton?), and she wants to be on hand to support him.

Few (if any) would argue that this is the wrong decision—including, presumably, William—but that doesn’t mean that Kate’s call won’t leave the Prince of Wales “kicking himself,” royal expert Jennie Bond said, per The Mirror

Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Earthshot Prize Awards

At the Earthshot Prize Awards in Boston, 2022

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I cheered out loud when I learned that Catherine had chosen to stay home with George,” said Bond, a former royal correspondent for BBC. “It’s absolutely the right decision. Official duties will come and go; children need their parents, and they grow up fast. There will be more Earthshot events and prizes. But this year, George has his own big event going on—exams.”

It truly does mark a shift in royal parenting, in which, while duty is important, nothing comes before the children. And, while William might be frustrated that the dates clashed as they did, he, of course, will support his wife’s decision: “It’s entirely right that his mum should be there to help him through them,” Bond said of George’s exams. “I expect William is kicking himself that his schedule clashes with George’s exams, but he will be wholly supportive of Catherine staying home to help their son.”

Prince George and Kate Middleton together

(Image credit: Getty)

George and his parents were seen touring Eton back in June; boys enroll at Eton at age 13 (which is three years away for George), so, if accepted, George won’t begin there until 2026. Eton—which both William and Prince Harry attended—is nearby Windsor Castle and Adelaide Cottage, where the Wales family of five now live.

And, though William won’t be on hand for George’s exams, George (and his other two children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis) won’t be far from his mind as he continues the work of Earthshot; William previously told the BBC that he is thinking of the next generation when it comes to his determination to save the planet with his Earthshot Prize work. “If we’re not careful, we’re robbing from our children’s future, what we do now,” he said. “And I think that’s not fair. And so I’m trying to use my little bit of influence, my little bit of profile to highlight some incredible people doing amazing things and will genuinely help try and fix some of these problems.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Earthshot Prize Awards

At the Earthshot Prize Awards in London, 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate, by the way, has plenty more chances to attend the Earthshot Prize Awards; launched in 2020, the initiative will continue until at least 2030.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.