New Zealand’s outgoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been announced to the Board of Trustees on the Earthshot Prize.
The grassroots politician, 42 — who resigned in January after revealing she felt she no longer had “enough tank” to lead the country — praised the organization for its “strength in encouraging and spreading not only much-needed innovation, but also optimism.” .
In an Instagram post announcing the new role, Project Earthshot – a project spearheaded by the Prince of Wales – praised the campaign’s “lifelong commitment to sustainable development and 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 released a statement about her appearance in a Netflix documentary series presented by the couple called Live To Lead.
The then New Zealand Prime Minister insisted she was unaware of the couple’s involvement when she agreed to take part in the programme, which celebrates “inspirational leaders” throughout history.
New Zealand’s outgoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been announced to the Board of Trustees on Earthshot Prize
In a statement on Earthshot, Prince William expressed his excitement about the new date. The pair were photographed in 2019
In a statement on Earthshot, Prince William expressed his excitement about the new date.
“It is such an honor to welcome Jacinda to the Earthshot Prize team,” he said.
Her lifelong commitment to supporting sustainable and environmental solutions, along with her experience as Prime Minister of New Zealand, will bring a rich blend of fresh 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 were crucial to the prize’s early success.
“I am so grateful to her for joining us as she takes the next steps in her career.”
Another statement on the site, from Cristiana Figueres, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “I have always been inspired by Jacinda’s work as a catalytic force in efforts to combat climate change.
The former prime minister and Prince William met at Kensington Palace last year, when she visited him in the summer, on her first trip to the UK since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prince William and Jacinda Ardern during their solo visit to New Zealand in 2019, where he took part in ANZAC celebrations and visited the two mosques where a gunman killed 50 people in March of that year.
She is a great advocate for environmental innovation, and her perspective, experience, and direction are sure to have a powerful impact on the entire Earthshot Prize organization.
“My fellow trustees and I are delighted to welcome Jacinda to her new role.”
Other trustees include David Finn (Vice President and Special Counsel at Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP) and Tokunboh Echmel (Founding Trustee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Alitheia Capital among other roles).
This isn’t the first time that Jacinda has appeared to be friends with the Prince and Princess of Wales, as the couple were among those to thank the politician for her support during her leadership of the Commonwealth – especially after 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 was stepping down as leader.
The letter, signed by W&C, read: “Thank you Jacinda Ardern for your friendship, leadership and support over the years, at least at the time of my grandmother’s death. We send you, Clark and Neff our very best wishes.
The letter referred to Clarke Gifford, the prime minister’s long-term partner and fiancé, and their daughter Nivi Te Aroha, who was born in June 2018.
Meghan and Jacinda Ardern appear to have a budding friendship, which broke out during the Royal New Zealand tour in 2018
The New Zealand Prime Minister wore a Maori robe during her most recent public engagement, which saw her visit the Maori settlement of Ratana in the North Island in January
Pictured: Jacinda wears a custom-made Kākahu feather, a traditional gown, made for the occasion by Māori designer, Kerry Nathan, during the late Queen’s funeral in September 2022
Prince William, his wife and Jacinda have met several times since she took over the role in 2017.
Their last official meeting took place in bleak times for the couple, when Jacinda traveled to the UK to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on September 19.
At the end of last year, Jacinda released a statement about her appearance in a Netflix documentary series presented by Meghan and Harry, with New Zealand’s prime minister insisting she was unaware of the couple’s involvement when she agreed to take part.
Live To Lead celebrates ‘inspirational leaders’ throughout history and was made by New Zealand production company Blackwell & Roth in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Sussexes production company, Archewell.
While the couple is listed as executive producers, Jacinda’s office released a statement in response to questions from reporters that made it clear that her involvement had nothing to do with the duke and duchess.
Before that, the Duchess of Sussex and Jacinda appeared to have a budding friendship, which broke out during their New Zealand royal tour in 2018. Meghan was pregnant at the time of the tour and Miss Arden later spoke of how impressed she was with her stamina.
She said that year: “Pregnancy is often a stressful time, but the way you gave her everything was amazing. She is an amazing woman and a pleasure to get to know her.”
Meanwhile, Finding Freedom claimed that Jacinda sent Markle flower arrangements after the birth of her son, Archie.