25 July, 2024
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Crowd welcomes William and Kate as they touch down for milestone US trip


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The Prince and Princess of Wales have arrived in Boston for a milestone US trip, greeted by crowds of well-wishers as they begin their first overseas royal visit since the Queen’s death.

On a rainy and windy afternoon, up to 1000 fans gathered at Boston’s City Hall Plaza on Wednesday (local time) to catch a glimpse of the royals.

Prince William and Kate Middleton first met the city’s mayor Michelle Wu and Governor-elect Maura Healey. Then William spoke to the crowd, invoking the legacy of President John F Kennedy’s “Moonshot speech” 60 years earlier.

“It was the Moonshot speech that inspired me to launch the Earthshot Prize with the aim of doing the same for climate change as President Kennedy did for the space race,” he said, reported The Boston Globe.

In the royal couple’s first visit to the US since 2014. And this time the heir to the British throne and his wife brought a surprising – and “unusual” – member of their entourage, alongside their private secretaries and Kate’s stylists.

“[They] will be accompanied by a doctor on their travels,” Hello! magazine reported.

“It is symbolic of their importance within the British monarchy … prior to 2019, the Queen and Prince Philip, and Prince Charles and Camilla (now the King and Queen Consort) were the only ones to travel with a medical professional.”

The Prince and Princess of Wales courtside at an NBA game

Source: Twitter/Celtics on NBC Sports Boston

Will the so-called ‘Fab Four’ reunite on the East Coast?

Travelling without their three children, the Prince and Princess of Wales have a packed three-day itinerary.

The visit also has added significance. It comes only a few days before William’s California-based brother Prince Harry and his American wife, podcaster and actress Meghan Markle, take the limelight at an awards ceremony in New York, ahead of a Netflix documentary and revealing memoir.

While Kate and William are in Boston, according to the official royal.uk website, they will “get to know the city” and learn about what it is doing to combat the effects of climate change. They will also head to the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum with the US Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy.

The visit will culminate on Friday with William and Kate as guests of honour at the star-studded Earthshot Prize ceremony at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway. The night will also be attended by Grammy-winning singer Billie Eilish and Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be in New York City on December 6, to accept the Robert F Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award. It will honour them for their commitment to social change and human rights work.

The group of recipients includes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Watch the new Invictus Games trailer

Source: Invictus Games

Royal family ‘a competitive bunch’

With Harry and Meghan’s highly anticipated Netflix documentary series debuting on December 8, Thursday also brought a promotion for the duke’s Invictus Games.

Towards the end of the clip, Harry and Meghan face off in a game of ping pong.

Timing is everything on a royal trip, and at the centre of the Wales’ US visit will be whether the two brothers pick up the phone, or organise a last-minute meeting.

After all, they will only be three hours – or 346 kilometres – from each other.

But, for royal commentators and many in the British media, it will be a chance to contrast the popularity and lives of the two brothers.

“The royal family are a competitive bunch, they always have been and always will be,” royal biographer Andrew Morton told Reuters.

“Prince William is the future king, Prince Harry no longer has a royal role.

“But nonetheless, they will be looking at the optics to see who had the biggest crowds, who had the most column inches and if they tell you otherwise, don’t believe them.”

“Megan and Harry are a polarising couple,” said Morton, adding the couple who he described as “the king and queen of California” were mobbed on their last trip to New York.

“It’ll be interesting to look at the size of the crowds in New York, where Megan and Harry accept their award, compared to the crowds for William and Catherine in Boston.”

People magazine’s senior royals editor, Erin Hill reckons “it’s only natural for people to want to pit these two couples against each other”.

“But I think American audiences are not viewing this as a competition.”

She said there would be huge US interest in William and Kate’s trip and the Netflix documentary, while Harry’s upcoming memoir Spare, to be released in January, will be “the book of the year”.

“I can tell you that Americans have never been as enthusiastic about the royal family as they are now,” said Morton, who was in California to promote his latest book The Queen.

“[Netflix show] The Crown, for all the criticism, has actually introduced a new generation of royal addicts,” he said.

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