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Royal Couple Wraps New York Visit

  • Reuters

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine enjoyed a gala dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Tuesday night, ending their three-day trip to the United States.

The event was to mark the University of St. Andrews 600th anniversary.

According to the royal press office, the event supported "scholarships and bursaries for students from under-privileged communities, new student sports facilities in St. Andrews, investment in the university's media and science faculties and a lectureship in American Literature at St. Andrews".

"It's a fantastic pleasure for Catherine and me to be here tonight, and I don't need to tell you all just how much St. Andrews University means to us both," Prince William told attendees in a speech opening the event. " It should go without saying to all of you in this room that the education received there was first-class."

The prince added that his time at the university was nothing short of a delight.

9/11 Memorial, Museum

Earlier Tuesday the couple paid a solemn visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, greeted by a small but resolute crowd of admirers who withstood driving rain and wind for a glimpse of the royal pair.

Kate, the duchess of Cambridge, laid a bouquet of white roses and a handwritten note at one of the two memorial pools marking where the World Trade Center towers once stood.

Etched along the pools are names of the nearly 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when two hijacked planes destroyed the twin towers.

The note, signed by the couple, read: "In sorrowful memory of those who died on 11th September, and in admiration of the courage shown to rebuild."

At the memorial, they waved briefly to bystanders before heading inside to tour the museum exhibits of artifacts and photographs from the day of the attacks.

Kate wore a fuchsia Mulberry coat that stood out brightly in the gray of a rainy day but hid her baby bump.

Huddled under an umbrella was Ben Jones of Leeds, England, who said he and his wife had planned a trip to the memorial and were quite surprised to find their country's royals there at the same time.

"It just so happened that we turned up," he said. "I've never seen these two so we might as well hang about."

New Yorker Susan Daglian said she missed every other royal visit to the city and vowed not to miss this one, despite the weather.

"Just to get a glimpse is worth it," she said. "I think they're wonderful."

Basketball game

On Monday, William and Kate attended a professional basketball game where the Brooklyn Nets faced off with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They met one of America's most famous basketball players, Cavaliers star Lebron James, who is nicknamed "King James."

The NBA said William and Kate were attending the game as part of a new partnership between the league and the Royal Foundation. The project will unite NBA players and Britain's royalty to stress global wildlife conservation and boost the sport of basketball.

They also spent time talking with American singer Beyoncé, known by her fans as "Queen Bey," and her rapper husband, Jay Z.

Outside the arena, demonstrators gathered in what have become nightly protests over a grand jury decision not to indict a white New York City police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

The couple, who are expecting their second child in April, were making their first visit to New York City.

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