- Prince William’s inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards are on Sunday.
- He spoke to Earthshot Advocate Robert Irwin ahead of the event.
- “He’d be very proud of you,” the prince told Robert of Steve Irwin, according to People.
Prince William told Robert Irwin that his father would be “very proud” of him, according to People.
The Duke of Cambridge and Steve Irwin’s son spoke ahead of William’s inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony on Sunday, which will give five £1 million prizes to people creating solutions to help the environment.
Robert, 17, is an Earthshot Advocate, discussing the impact of climate change on wildlife for the organization and now interviewing Prince William about why he created the Earthshot Prize.
William, 39, told Robert he founded the Prize because he “felt that a bit of optimism and hope is what we needed,” as People reported.
“Showing people that there are solutions. That there is a way forward what was going to be needed, and so that’s how the Earthshot Prize sort of spun out from there,” William said to Robert, according to People.
But during their conversation, William also brought up Robert’s late father, Steve Irwin, who was a champion of protecting animals during his life.
“Honestly, I was a big fan of your dad, and I am so sorry,” the Duke of Cambridge said to Robert, according to People.
Steve died in 2006 from a stingray barb injury to the heart. Robert was just 2 years old at the time.
“It’s no surprise that you’re a fan of crocodiles as well,” William went on to say to Robert, as reported by People. “The family trait has continued into the next generation I am sure.”
“He’d be very proud of you Robert,” the prince added. “And what you continued. Your passion is only second to his.”
Robert has been carrying on his father’s legacy, working at the Australia Zoo alongside his mom, Terri, and his sister, Bindi. He also won a Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award in 2021 for a picture he took of a raging bushfire.
He also became an uncle this year. Bindi welcomed her daughter Grace Warrior Irwin Powell in March, choosing middle names that honored her dad.