Written by Ranee Mohamed
08 Dec, 2014 | 7:17 am
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in New York for a tour of the east coast of the United States.
The couple are in the country for three days, during which Prince William will meet President Barack Obama.
Catherine, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, will accompany the duke to pay respects to those who died in the 9/11 terror attacks.
Danny Lopez, the British consul general in New York, said there had been “incredible interest” in the visit.
He added there has been a huge “level of excitement” from people in the city. Prince William is also expected to give a speech at a World Bank conference in Washington on combating illegal wildlife trafficking.
Highlighting the scale of the problem the prince is expected to say “some endangered species are now literally worth more than their weight in gold”.
Compared to their other big foreign trip this year, to New Zealand and Australia for three weeks in April, this one is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it experience. Except that this is New York and Washington, so the scrutiny will be intense and the long-term impressions will matter.
The Americans have an ambivalent attitude to royalty. To some it represents a social structure which they find offensive, where birth counts for more than worth, but they do seem to find it intriguing, and in William and Catherine they perceive a couple who fulfil several of the critical American benchmarks of success.
They are glamorous and they have a status which appears to transcend the shallowness of mere “celebrity”.
For the two days she is in New York, Catherine’s appearance, her clothes and the state of her pregnancy will be endlessly examined and analysed.
For William especially, these two days in the United States will be a chance for him to define more clearly how he will approach his future role.
The prince is set to describe the trade in elephants tusks, rhino horns and other animal parts as “one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today”.
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