On Friday, Prince William and Kate will host the Earthshot Awards in Boston’s MGM Music Hall at Fenway. And this afternoon, they arrived in the city for what is their first overseas trip as Prince and Princess of Wales.
The royal couple was welcomed to Boston’s City Hall by Mayor Michelle Wu and Governor-Elect Maura Healey. They will spend three days in Boston in a trip which aides say they do not view as a royal tour, but rather a visit focused around the Earthshot Prize. It was in the planning before Queen Elizabeth died and they took on their new roles, but the fact it has become their first overseas trip since William became first in line to the throne could be said to give the moment further significance.
Many of the engagements the couple will carry out are focussed on Earthshot and the work being done in Boston on climate change. But they will also make visits which allow them to meet communities and further their work in other areas. Kate will learn about what is being done by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University in line with her interest in the early years. And they will both travel to the Chelsea area to see nonprofit Roca Inc which focuses on helping at risk young people aged 16-24. There, they will spend time with women in the young mothers’ program.
The couple was last in the U.S. in December 2014 when Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte and they spent three days in New York. Their arrival at City Hall today was met with much excitement as crowds had gathered in the rain outside the landmark building to catch a glimpse of them. Prince William, Mayor Wu, and Governor-Elect Healey all gave speeches at the event, which kicked off the Earthshot celebrations by lighting up the city’s landmarks green. William began his remarks by thanking the "hearty Bostonians" braving the rain.
“Catherine and I are delighted to be back in the United States and are extremely grateful to Governor Baker and The First Lady of Massachusetts for their warm welcome into Boston," William said in a statement earlier today. "On this, our first overseas visit since the death of my grandmother, I would like to thank the people of Massachusetts and particularly of Boston for their many tributes paid to the late Queen. She remembered her 1976 bicentennial visit with great fondness."
He continued, "My grandmother was one of life's optimists. And so am I. That is why last year we launched the Earthshot Prize with the ambition to create a truly global platform to inspire hope and urgent optimism as we look to save the future of our planet."
The couple will likely meet President Biden during the visit, as the U.S. President happens to be in Boston for a fundraiser on Friday. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Biden will "greet" the royals on Friday—which was soon confirmed by Kensington Palace.
When they visited New York in 2014, Prince William traveled to Washington D.C. to meet President Obama at the Oval Office. The royals last met the Bidens at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September. Almost a year earlier, President Biden was photographed with his hand on Prince William’s shoulder during a reception on the first day of the COP26 climate conference. And the Bidens also visited the UK in June 2021 during the G7 Summit when they were greeted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle and the First Lady visited a school in Cornwall with Kate.
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