Emma Thompson, Emma Watson, and David Oyelowo, actors, were present with Kate, the Duchess, to hand out the awards at Alexandra Palace, north London.
Watson arrived in a gown of 10 Oxfam dresses. Kate wore an Alexander McQueen gown made in 2011 for her, while her husband wore a dark-green velvet blazer with a polo collar.
William and The Royal Foundation, his charity, launched the Earthshot Prize last January. It was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 "Moonshot” speech, which challenged and inspired Americans towards the moon.
This prize is the most prestigious and will be awarded annually to five winners each year until 2030. Each winner will be awarded a grant of 1 million pounds ($1.4million) to help them develop and scale their ideas.
William stated in a short pre-recorded video: "We live in the most consequential period in human history."
He stated that "the fate of the planet in the next 1000 years will be determined by the actions we take or do not take"
He said that many of the answers were already available. "But we need all of society. to increase their ambitions and work together for the repair of our planet.
A 14-year-old student from India proposes to use solar energy to replace charcoal in India's roadside ironing machines. There is also a coral farm on the Bahamas that will restore dying coral reefs. In Congo, there is a community project dedicated to gorilla protection. And there is a Kenyan company that uses organic waste to fertilize and provide insect protein to farmers.
This ceremony is just days before the COP26 U.N. summit on climate change in Glasgow, which starts on Oct 31.