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Prince William Carries on with Second Royal Duty of the Day amid Kate Middleton's Photo Controversy

The Prince of Wales attended the annual Commonwealth Day service earlier on Monday

<p>Belinda Jiao - WPA Pool/Getty</p> Prince William attends event celebrating The Earthshot Prize Launchpad in London on March 11, 2024

Belinda Jiao - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince William attends event celebrating The Earthshot Prize Launchpad in London on March 11, 2024

Prince William continued with royal duty after the Mother's Day photo of Kate Middleton caused controversy.

On Monday, the Prince of Wales, 41, stepped out in London to attend a kickoff celebration for The Earthshot Prize Launchpad. The matchmaking platform was established to connect Earthshot innovators with investors and philanthropists, helping to accelerate the scaling of solutions from the environmental prize that William founded in 2020 to help repair the planet over the next decade.

The Earthshot Prize described the Launchpad unveiling as a "landmark" moment and outlined that 25 Earthshot solutions from six continents with funding needs exceeding $512 million are being highlighted during its pilot phase.

To date, Launchpad has drawn 135 investors and philanthropists to its curated database — an exciting sign of the potential ahead.

<p>Belinda Jiao - WPA Pool/Getty</p> Prince William attends an event celebrating The Earthshot Prize Launchpad in London on March 11, 2024

Belinda Jiao - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince William attends an event celebrating The Earthshot Prize Launchpad in London on March 11, 2024

Related: Kate Middleton Seen Leaving Windsor with Prince William for Private Appointment After Issuing Photo Apology

Prince William gave a speech to celebrate the Earthshot Prize's latest "landmark moment."

"When I first started thinking about how I might contribute to the collective global effort to protect our planet in 2018, I knew that I wanted to mobilize the enormous power of innovators, wherever they are in the world," he said. "From businesses, cities and governments; to activists, scientists and innovators, the ideas and ambition to set our planet on a healthier path do already exist."

"But this is urgent. We are in the critical decade right now," he continued. "And that is why, to have real impact, we must focus on supporting and developing as many solutions as possible and scale them at speed."

This is the second Earthshot Prize-related outing for Prince William in recent days. On Friday, he stepped out at The Kia Oval Cricket Ground in south London to learn how Notpla, a startup that won the Build a Waste-Free World prize in 2020, is bringing their seaweed-based food packaging to over 50 sports and event venues across the U.K.

<p> Belinda Jiao - WPA Pool/Getty</p> Prince William attends an event celebrating the Earthshot Prize Launchpad in London on March 11, 2024

Belinda Jiao - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince William attends an event celebrating the Earthshot Prize Launchpad in London on March 11, 2024

The Earthshot Prize outing on Monday marked Prince William's second event of the day. After he was seen leaving Windsor Castle with Princess Kate (PEOPLE understands that she was heading to a private appointment), William attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey with Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family.

The Prince of Wales and Queen Camilla, 76, lead the family as King Charles postpones public-facing duties while receiving cancer treatment.

Prince William's presence at the Commonwealth Day service, the annual event that celebrates the 56 countries that comprise the Commonwealth of Nations, came just hours after Princess Kate apologized for the controversy around the editing of a family photo. Mother's Day was celebrated in the U.K. on Sunday, and the Princess of Wales, 42, issued a surprise statement after multiple global photo agencies including the Associated Press, Getty Images and Reuters pulled the picture the palace released of the royal with her kids, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

The snap, taken by Prince William last week in Windsor and shared on social media, was especially significant as the first official picture of Princess Kate since her surgery on Jan. 16. However, eagle-eyed viewers quickly spotted discrepancies within the picture, noting editing inconsistencies.

Related: Kate Middleton's Photo Controversy Is 'Pretty Damning,' Says U.K. PR Expert (Exclusive)

<p>The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram</p> Kate Middleton and her three children (L-R): Princes Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram

Kate Middleton and her three children (L-R): Princes Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

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Responding to the controversy the following day, Princess Kate said, "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day."

The Princess of Wales signed the post with a "C" for Catherine, her full name, signaling the personal nature of the message.

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