Tell me about…William and Kate’s 2014 visit to the US

The couple learnt about conservation and mental health support on the east coast

As The Prince and Princess of Wales begin a visit to Boston today for The Earthshot Prize, we’re taking a look at some of the highlights from the couple’s trip to the US in 2014. 

The trip saw the couple carry out engagements based around conservation issues, supporting mental health organisations, and the early years – all of which are still key issues for the Prince William and Catherine to this day. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Carlyle Hotel, New York, for for the start of their US tour in December 2014

On this first day of their visit, the then-Duke of Cambridge visited Washington DC, which placed a focus around animal conservation and tackling illegal hunting of animals. He attended an anti-corruption conference at the World Bank to discuss a zero-tolerance approach to the transportation across borders of illegal wildlife parts.

The Duke also attended a lunch in which a number of programmes in support of the fight against the illegal trade in ivory were discussed. The then-Duke was attending the events in his role as President of the United For Wildlife organisation.

William had the chance to meet with former President Barrack Obama. Two years later, royal fans would see Barrack Obama visit the UK and be hosted by the couple and Prince Harry. Prince George also made an appearance during the visit, where he stole the show in his embroidered dressing gown and slippers!

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Whilst William was in DC, the then-Duchess remained in New York, where she undertook engagements focused on the early Years and a British community in New York. Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte at the time.

William, Kate & Harry host the Obamas for dinner & Prince George makes an appearance

Catherine visited to a local child development centre, along with the then First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray. The pair heard about how the organisation created a healthy development of children and families by providing high-quality mental health and educational services.

The pair also wrapped presents with youngsters at the Northside Center for Child Development. Catherine’s facial expression didn’t go unnoticed when she was told to hurry up!

Her Royal Highness also attended a lunch, hosted by the British Consul General in New York, to celebrate the achievements of a successful British community in New York from the culture, arts, hospitality and business sectors.

In the evening of their first day, the Cambridges attended an NBA Basketball game to help launch a new collaboration between the Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA.

At the beginning of the game, live footage of William and Catherine was screened over the announcement: ‘The NBA and the Brooklyn Nets would like to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Barclays Center for their first NBA Game. The couple gave adorable reactions, with the Duchess looking shy, whilst the Duke gave a smile and wave as crowds cheered.

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On the second and final day of the couple’s trip to, they visited The Door to see the work carried out in partnership with the CityKids Foundation. Both organisations focused on programmes and projects that promote positive youth development and social learning. 

The then-Duke and Duchess learnt about the wide-ranging support services on offer to young people to help them reach their potential, particularly through an arts-in-education model that supports the artistic and intellectual development of the participants.

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During the visit, the Royals also visited the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Centre, where they laid a wreath to pay their respects to the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks of 26th February 1993 and 11th September 2001.

William and Catherine learnt how the site, which included the One World Trade Center, had been redeveloped.

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The final engagement of the visit saw the couple attend the University of St. Andrews 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event supported scholarships and bursaries for students from under-privileged communities, new student sports facilities in St Andrews, investment in the university’s medical and science faculties and a lectureship in American Literature at St. Andrews. The university is where Prince William and Catherine met as students and fell in love.

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