Prince William recently revealed that an American icon has majorly inspired him in his life, starting from his childhood days. The legend is also the inspiration behind his newly-launched Earthshot initiative, which will award five winners each year over this decade for their solutions that can substantially help the environment.

In a TED Talk released on Monday as part of a countdown to the first Earthshot Prize ceremony in October, Prince William shared that former United States President John F. Kennedy was a huge inspiration behind the initiative. The Duke of Cambridge said that since he was a boy, the former POTUS had been a subject of fascination thanks to his historically bold Moonshot mission to send a man to space in record time.

"Humans have an extraordinary capacity to set goals and strive to achieve them. I've long been inspired by President John F. Kennedy's 1961 mission to put a man on the moon within a decade. He named it the Moonshot. It seemed crazy. We'd only just launched the first satellite. Putting a man on the moon that quickly seemed impossible," William said.

"But Kennedy inspired people to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills. In taking that giant leap for mankind, the team behind the Moonshot united millions of people around the world — that this crazy ambition wasn't so crazy after all," the 39-year-old added.

The Duke said that this kind of ambition continues to be critical as we "start this new decade knowing that it is the most consequential period in history." He continued that if no substantial actions are taken in this decade, the damage that will be done by the end will be irreversible.

"And the effects felt not just by future generations but by all of us alive today. And what's more, this damage will not be felt equally by everyone. It is the most vulnerable, those with the fewest resources and those who've done the least to cause climate change who will be impacted the most," the father-of-three said.

He noted that his Earthshot initiative has a set of ambitious objectives for the planet, and seeks solutions for the five biggest environmental problems- protecting and restoring nature, cleaner air, reviving oceans, waste-reduction, and climate change, that must be tacked by 2030. On October 17, five recipients of the first-ever Earthshot prize will each receive about $1.4 million (£1 million) at a ceremony attended by him at London's Alexandra Palace.

Prince William
Prince William Getty Images/Richard Stonehouse