Katie Webber: Earthshot Prize awards left me feeling less worried
- Credit: PA
A passion for wellbeing with Katie Webber:
If you read my last column, you will know that I was full of hope for the inaugural Duke’s Earthshot Awards held in London.
The evening will, I am certain, go down in the archives as one during which the world changed.
Great entertainment; fantastic, inspiring technologies and projects; humble, generous winners; powerful people in the audience both physical and virtual, ready to invest in the runners up. Oh, and nobody flew to be there. Eat your heart out, G7.
The hour began with a bouncy X Factor-style introduction by Dermot O’Leary and the wonderful Clara Amfo, whose morning show on Radio 1 has kept me company on many a grey day.
The first act was Coldplay and BTS, singing ‘My Universe’ as an audience powered their microphones and lights by pedalling on exercise bikes in front of them, getting fit while watching.
Chris Martin was visibly ecstatic - knowing that the universe he was singing about now has hope, that we have finally reached a tipping point. His energy was matched by mine.
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I know, as the whole world should know, that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, looking, to my mind, like the King and Queen in ‘A Knight’s Tale,’ she in a vintage Alexander McQueen dress and he a cross between Craig Revel-Horwood and a Bond villain in a black turtle neck (doubtless a nature reference) and a leaf green velvet jacket (again...), probably borrowed from his father’s wardrobe, that his father will have been the brains behind the night.
Prince Charles has been like an Olympic athlete, training day in and day out, doing and saying the same thing over and over again - I know because I used to work for him - and this evening was surely the result of his many decades of hard work.
The fact that he obviously stated that he shouldn’t even be mentioned, because he knows that in order to get the wider world behind this, his sons and daughters-in-law are much better placed than he to take it forward, shows you the sort of human being he is.
I use the plural, because I would also bet big that next year, when the second awards event is held in the United States, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take the King and Queen seats. I truly hope so, anyway.
When I listened to Prince Harry speak about his terror at his wife’s sickness, I understood, because I have been there. He was right to take her home, and I feel sure that he will have had his father’s blessing.
I said to Mum that I imagined Prince Charles and Camilla at home dancing around with Martinis, probably with the Queen, sans Martini, celebrating.
I am sure that the Earthshot name, a reference to ’Moon Shot’ - the one given to the unnatural miracle that was John F Kennedy’s brain child, will have been the idea of Prince Philip, who was famously obsessed with the moon landing, and the experiences that the astronauts had during their time in space.
Just on that, kudos to Dame Joan Collins for speaking out against William Shatner’s trip to space.
I don’t think she should have called him an idiot, many people would have also taken the opportunity, but her statement that we would deal with the problems on earth before we head to other planets is one that I agree with.
Talking of unsung royal heroes, did you know that Edward VIII was an environmental pioneer?
Working with Denys Finch Hatton, the man portrayed so beautifully by Robert Redford in Out of Africa, he was responsible for the replacement of safari groups shooting with guns by groups shooting with cameras.
So, his most lasting legacy wasn’t that he gave up the British crown, but that he may have saved generations of real life Lion Kings and their friends from almost certain death.
I worry a lot, in fact I’ve realised that my episodes of depression are definitely connected to my concerns about the world.
I love many young people, so why wouldn’t they be? I’m feeling less worried since that Sunday evening.
As I write this, I sit overlooking the ocean at Meadfoot Cafe, feet bare, enjoying a delicious Owen’s coffee, organically roasted in Ivybridge, contemplating a dip, which would be my third one this week. I’m taking time to follow my own advice, and enjoy our precious, constantly amazing home.
If you have a spare hour between 9am and 4pm from Tuesday to Sunday, I recommend a visit here. Emily, James and their team will welcome you, and Simon makes a delicious soup that will warm you up post bluster. it’s served with a toasted roll and butter, all for less than £4.
Lastly for this week, I want to say a very big thank you to my Auntie Margaret. I was going to give this column up a month ago, and then a beautiful letter arrived from her, telling me how much she is enjoying my pieces, and specifically that the piece on jazz music made her feel close to my beloved Uncle John, who we lost suddenly just before lockdown.
Now, thanks to her, I have a long list of topics I want to cover and a renewed energy to do the work. Just one person taking the time to tell you they appreciate you - that’s really all it takes.
Have a good week everyone. You can watch the Earthshot Awards on BBC iplayer. Watch it with as many generations of loved ones as you can, and let me know what you think: email@example.com