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Prince William, Kate, arrive in US for visit overshadowed by new racism row

Prince William and wife Kate began their first visit to America in eight years Wednesday under the cloud of a fresh racism row after his godmother quit the royal household for repeatedly asking a Black British woman where she was “really” from.

The Prince and Princess of Wales touched down at Boston’s Logan International Airport on a commercial British Airways flight shortly after 2:00 pm (1900 GMT) for a three-day trip focused on climate change.

However, the start of the visit — which comes after racism claims from William’s brother Harry and mixed-race sister-in-law, Meghan — was overshadowed by the resignation and apology of 83-year-old Susan Hussey, one of William’s six godmothers.

“Racism has no place in our society,” a spokesman for the royal couple told reporters in Boston. 

“These comments were unacceptable, and it’s right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.”

William was not involved in the decision but “believes it’s the right course of action to be taken”, the spokesman added.

The heir to the British throne and Kate were greeted off the plane in the northeastern US city by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

They were then due to meet Boston mayor Michelle Wu, US climate envoy John Kerry and America’s ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy at Boston’s city hall.

The trip is the royal couple’s first overseas since the 40-year-old William became heir to the throne in September, when his father succeeded queen Elizabeth II to become King Charles III.

They last visited the United States in 2014 when they went to New York and Washington, in a trip that included a reception at the White House with the then-president Barack Obama and his deputy, Joe Biden.

The White House said Biden will meet the royal couple on Friday.

– Awards –

“Catherine and I are delighted to be back in the United States,” William said shortly after arriving.

It’s also their first trip stateside since Harry and Meghan sensationally quit the royal family in early 2020. No meeting has been announced between the estranged brothers.

The visit will culminate on Friday evening with a star-studded ceremony for William’s Earthshot Prize initiative to tackle climate change.

The awards ceremony — described by royal insiders as William’s “Superbowl moment” — is now in its second year, and rewards five innovators with £1 million each ($1.2 million).

A host of stars are expected at Boston’s MGM Music Hall, including singers Billie Eilish and Annie Lennox, sisters Chloe x Halle, and actor Rami Malek.

Other engagements include discussions with local officials about rising sea levels in the city on the North Atlantic coast.

They will also meet charities working with disadvantaged young people and a laboratory specializing in green technologies.

Hussey is a longstanding former lady-in-waiting to William’s late grandmother, queen Elizabeth II and was a courtier to Queen Consort Camilla. 

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