The Prince of Wales told American pop stars OneRepublic that Prince Louis is a fan after they performed at his Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Singapore.
The prince met the band backstage after Tuesday night’s show at the 1,500-capacity Theatre at Mediacorp and congratulated them on their performance, which opened proceedings.
“I can’t thank you enough,” he said. “You were amazing. What a way to start the show. That was incredible.”
He told them: “Louis, my youngest, loves your songs” but said Prince George, 10, is still into veteran Australian rockers AC/DC.
On a night when the main topic was the need to take urgent action to combat climate change and other environmental threats to the world, William, 41, told British indie band Bastille their performance of Pompeii – about the disaster that befell the Roman city when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD – to close the show profoundly affected those around him in the audience.
He said the song, performed by the band with the Voices of Singapore choir and singer Freya Ridings, was the perfect way to end proceedings.
“You guys blew it away. Honestly, it was incredibly moving, it was very powerful and I didn’t want it to stop. And everyone in front of me was crying. I mean I didn’t see behind me but there were tears everywhere. It was so powerful and a great way to finish the show. So thank you so much.”
South African actress Nomzano Mbatha, who presented one of the awards, told William she was in tears at the end. “It was incredible,” she said.
The prince thanked co-hosts, actors Hannah Waddingham and Sterling K Brown.
“You were brilliant. The chemistry was oozing,” he said.
Brown said: “We had a good time. There were a couple of snafus but we made it through.”
William enthused about the Earthshot finalists, saying they were the real heroes of the evening and he hopes scaling up their businesses will help solve some of the world’s environmental problems.
“I think we raised the bar this year. Best one yet,” he told the performers.
Earlier, William congratulated the winners, who stood waiting for him, clutching their awards, which are made from recycled materials, including brass sourced from water pipe fittings, household waste and minute metal elements filtered from wastewater sludge.
The prince, who met the finalists earlier in the day before the results were announced, strolled in, clapping his hands and smiling broadly, and said: “Hey, well done. I’m so pleased for you. I tried to keep a straight face seeing you all today. I tried to give nothing away. I hope none of you read me.”
He told them: “I’m so proud of all of you. Really well done.”
William, who congratulated them on their speeches, added: “I hope you feel the love and support out there because that is what is there. It’s for all the hard work you’ve done.
“And many of you have been doing this for a long, long time and have never truly been acknowledged for all the hard work you’ve put in. So take this moment to really take it in. Everyone is grateful and supports all the hard work you’ve done.”
He told them: “The Earthshot Prize is nothing without you guys.”
William promised to visit all of the winners, who come from across the globe. “I will do. The great thing is I’ve now got loads of opportunities to go and visit all of you. As each year goes on, I’ve now got plenty of friends all around the world to go and visit.”
He added: “Bravo, guys. Sorry we didn’t give you your awards on the stage. Everyone was worried you might drop them.
“They’re safely in your hands now, that’s what counts.”
He asked to have a group photograph taken with the winners.