The Prince of Wales and Singapore Prize Winners Unveiled

British Prince William has been awarded a prize to highlight innovative solutions to climate change, which he said demonstrated “hope does remain”. William was in Singapore to launch the third Earthshot Prize, organised by his Royal Foundation charity. The heir to the throne joined celebrity presenters such as actor Donnie Yen and South African actress Nomzano Mbatha for a ceremony at which winners were unveiled in areas including nature protection, clean air, ocean revival and waste elimination. The Prince, wearing a 10-year-old dark green suit by Alexander McQueen, and the other hosts walked a “green carpet” made of recycled plastic.

The Prince was also in the capital to attend a celebration of the 2023 Innovators’ Choice Awards, presented by Inside World Interiors (IWI) and supported by VELUX, GROHE and Rockwool. Unlike other international design awards, IWI’s shortlisted projects do not have to pay an entry fee. They are judged by an international panel of leading industry professionals, from interior designers to architects and a range of other experts.

This year, the shortlisted projects include a hotel that offers visitors the opportunity to stay in an artificially intelligent room and an office space designed to support mental health and wellbeing. Another is a new pedestrian bridge in the heart of a city that features a waterfall, trees and lighting. The finalists also include an acoustic screen that helps prevent noise pollution and a sustainable and socially responsible building with its own solar panels and an ozone generator.

The ten shortlisted projects are competing for the overall winner in each category as well as the Best Use of Natural Light, supported by VELUX, the GROHE Water Prize and the Sustainability Prize, supported by Rockwool. They were selected from more than 200 entries across the main categories.

In a special category this year, the organisers have chosen a project by Christopher Bathurst KC for its “fundamental reinterpretation of how Singapore began”. The project is the first to focus on the idea that the island was once part of a larger Southeast Asian maritime network and that it is therefore more than a product of European colonialism.

This is the second year that the NUS Singapore History Prize has been offered. It was introduced in 2014 as part of the NUS’s SG50 commemorations to mark 50 years since Singapore’s independence. It was mooted by NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani in a 2014 opinion column, who went on to become its jury chair.

The winner this year was Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Gelam by historian and archaeologist Prof Miksic. The citation for the book said it was a “synthesis of historical evidence, combined with primary sources, and enriched by Ms Hidayah’s own personal input”. The jury described it as “an exemplary work that makes the nuances of Singapore’s past more accessible to the general public”. The prize money is S$50,000. NUS hopes the prize will encourage engagement with Singapore history, make it more readily accessible to a wider audience and foster greater understanding amongst Singaporeans, it said in a press release.