Royals Get Up-Close Look at Green Innovations Outside Boston

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Somerville, Mass. (AP) — The Prince and Princess of Wales witnessed some amazing inventions Thursday when they visited a green technology startup archive in suburban Boston. Change.

William and Kate make their first overseas visit Death of Queen Elizabeth IIThey were greeted by hundreds of cheering onlookers as they entered the Greentown Laboratory in Somerville.

They were greeted by CEO Emily Reichert, Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and Joe Curtadone, a former mayor of the city just north of Boston who now chairs the Northeast Clean Energy Council. William wore a gray suit with a burgundy sweater. Kate wore a burgundy dress by Roland Mouret, with a blouse by Burberry and earrings by Daniela Draper.

Since its founding in 2011, Greentown, North America’s largest climate technology startup incubator, has supported more than 500 companies that have created more than 9,000 jobs.

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This visit also comes in between The buzz back home An 83-year-old member of the royal family reportedly asked the black head of an east London women’s refuge “where she really came from” after she told an elderly woman she was British. Some said the incident was an example of wider issues of racism at Buckingham Palace.

At Greentown on Thursday, the royal couple interacted with Shara Tikku, CEO of c16 Biosciences, a company that started as a sustainable alternative to palm oil and is developing decarbonized alternatives for the consumer goods supply chain. “Oils today come from animals or plants,” Diku said. “We made it from fungi.”

At Open Ocean Robotics, CEO and co-founder Julie Angus told the prince and princess about their solar-powered autonomous boats that provide real-time information about the oceans. Angus has a computer and monitor on his desk, showing data from a real boat in the harbor in Victoria, British Columbia, where the company is located.

“Five knots? That is very quick,” said the prince, looking at the screen. “It’s a wonder it didn’t topple over,” he said. Angus noted that the boats could be self-propelled.

William and Kate met with EarthShot CEO Hannah Jones, who took them to four past EarthShot winners or finalists, including Vaidya Cowan, co-founder of AEM Electrolyzers, which converts renewable electricity into green hydrogen.

They also chatted with Catherine Daforn, co-founder of Living Seawalls, an Australian company that designs eco-friendly marine infrastructure. “For all of us, time is ticking,” William said.

As they left the Greentown lab, Kate received flowers from 8-year-old Henry Dinov-Teixeira, who was dressed in a King’s Guards suit.

On Thursday’s agenda was Roca Inc., an organization that seeks to improve the lives of youth and young adults by addressing issues such as poverty, incarceration and trauma caused by urban violence. Includes the visit of and a visit to Boston’s waterfront, which is threatened by rising sea levels.

The royal couple’s first visit to the US since 2014 is part of the British royal family’s efforts to transform their international image. After Elizabeth’s death, William’s father, King Charles III, made it clear that it would be a lean monarchy with less pomp and ceremony than his predecessors.

This includes a focus on the EarthShot Prize, which awards 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) in prize money to winners in five separate categories: nature conservation, clean air, marine regeneration, waste disposal and climate change. The winners and all 15 finalists receive assistance to expand their projects to meet global demand.

The winners will be announced Friday at Boston’s MGM Music Hall as part of a headlining performance by Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle. The show will also feature videos narrated by naturalist David Attenborough and actor Cate Blanchett.

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