Jacinda picks team Wills and Kate!
Jacinda picks Team Wills and Kate! Ex New Zealand prime minister nails her colours to the Wales’ mast as she announces she is joining Earthshot – months after distancing herself from Harry and Meghan’s Netflix show
- Ex PM Jacinda Ardern, 42, has joined Prince William’s Earthshot Prize board
- READ MORE: Royal family LIVE: Updates as Jacinda Ardern is announced as a new trustee of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize
Outgoing prime minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has been announced to the board of trustees on the Earthshot Prize.
The popular politician, 42 – who resigned in January after revealing she felt she no longer had ‘enough left in the tank’ to lead the country – praised the organisation for its ‘power to encourage and spread not only the innovation we desperately need, but also optimism’.
In an Instagram post announcing the new role, Earthshot – a project led by the Prince of Wales – praised the campaigner’s ‘life-long commitment to sustainable development & climate action’.
It comes after Jacinda appeared to distance herself from William’s brother Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle last year, after she issued a statement about her appearance in a Netflix ‘docuseries’ presented by the couple called Live To Lead.
The then-New Zealand PM insisted she was unaware of the couple’s involvement when she agreed to take part in the programme, which celebrates ‘inspirational leaders’ throughout history.
Outgoing prime minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has been announced to the board of trustees on the Earthshot Prize
In a statement on Earthshot’s website, Prince William expressed his delight at the new appointment. The pair pictured in 2019
In a statement on Earthshot’s website, Prince William expressed his delight at the new appointment.
‘It is an honour to welcome Jacinda to The Earthshot Prize team,’ he said.
‘Her life-long commitment to supporting sustainable and environmental solutions, along with her experience as Prime Minister of New Zealand, will bring a rich infusion of new thinking to our mission.
‘Four years ago, before The Earthshot Prize even had a name, Jacinda was one of the first people I spoke to, and her encouragement and advice was crucial to the Prize’s early success.
‘I am hugely grateful to her for joining us as she takes the next steps in her career.’
Another statement on the website, from Christiana Figueres, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: ‘I have long-been inspired by Jacinda’s work as a catalysing force in the effort to combat climate change.
The ex-PM and Prince William met at Kensington Palace last year, when she visited over the summer, in her first trip to the UK since the Covid-19 pandemic
Prince William and Jacinda Ardern during his solo visit to New Zealand in 2019, where he took part in ANZAC ceremonies and visited the two mosques where a gunman killed 50 people in March of that year
‘She is a tremendous champion of environmental innovation, and her perspective, experience and guidance will no-doubt make a powerful impact on the entire Earthshot Prize organisation.
‘My fellow Trustees and I are thrilled to welcome Jacinda in her new role.’
Other Trustees include David Fein (Vice Chair and Special Counsel at Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP) and Tokunboh Ishamael (Founding Trustee and co-founder and Managing Director of Alitheia Capital among other roles).
It is not the first time Jacinda appears to have been friendly with the Prince and Princess of Wales, as the couple were amongst those who thanked the politician for her support while leading the Commonwealth nation – particularly following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
At the start of the year, William and Kate took to their Kensington Royal Twitter account to share their gratitude to the politician when she said she would be stepping down as leader.
The message, signed off by ‘W & C’, said: ‘Thank you Jacinda Ardern for your friendship, leadership and support over the years, not least at the time of my grandmother’s death. Sending you, Clarke and Neve our best wishes.’
The message referred to Clarke Gayford, the prime minister’s long term partner and fiancé, and their daughter Neve Te Aroha, who was born in June 2018.
Meghan and Jacinda Ardern appeared to have a budding friendship, sparked during the New Zealand Royal tour in 2018
The New Zealand PM wore a Maori cloak during her last public engagement, which saw her visit a Maori settlement of Ratana in the North Island in January
Pictured: Jacinda wearing a custom-made feather Kākahu, a traditional cloak, crafted for the occasion by Maori designer, Kiri Nathan, during the late Queen’s funeral in September 2022
Prince William, his wife and Jacinda have met several times since she took office in 2017.
Their last official meeting took place in sombre times for the couple, when Jacinda travelled to the UK to attend the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on September 19.
At the end of last year, Jacinda issued a statement about her appearance in a Netflix ‘docuseries’ presented by Meghan and Harry, with New Zealand’s PM insisting she was unaware of the couple’s involvement when she agreed to take part.
Live To Lead celebrated ‘inspirational leaders’ throughout history, and was made by New Zealand-based production company Blackwell & Ruth in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Sussexes’ production company, Archewell.
While the couple are listed as executive producers, Jacinda’s office released a statement in response to journalists’ questions that made it clear her involvement had nothing to do with the Duke and Duchess.
Previous to that, the Duchess of Sussex and Jacinda appeared to have a budding friendship, sparked during their New Zealand Royal tour in 2018. Meghan was pregnant at the time of the tour and Miss Arden later spoke of how she had been impressed by her stamina.
She said that year: ‘Pregnancy is an often tiring time, but the way she gave everything her all was incredible. She’s an amazing woman and I’m so glad to have gotten to know her.’
Meanwhile, the book Finding Freedom claimed Jacinda sent a floral arrangement to Markle after the birth of her son Archie.
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