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Where to See William and Kate in New York City? Perhaps Plenty of Places

Friday, November 21, 2014

Let's chat about New York. (cue Alicia Keys...) Lots have been wondering where to see Kate when the couple visit next month. Security is going to be tight, since this is obviously a high-profile couple in a high-profile city, in uncertain times. The location of many events is still currently under wraps, so the number of your opportunities to see them will increase depending on your flexibility.

The bad news first: This is not a Royal Tour, it is a business trip. On the surface it might not seem markedly different, but it does make a difference. Notably for the fans who want to actually meet them, there will not be the emphasis on walkabouts that we see on tour. A huge component of a royal tour is meeting as many locals as possible. Meeting people, connecting with them, hearing their stories, showing you care...

While this trip is obviously playing on the popularity of William and Kate with the U.S. public, it isn't first and foremost a trip to connect with the American people.  Not the way the trip to Australia was designed to allow the royals to meet Australians, or the NA Tour to meet Canadians, etc. I don't know what to tell you: there were a lot of advantages to breaking with Britain, but, 200 years later, we discover this drawback. 

Resourceful Americans should not, however, entirely despair. Locations will inevitably be announced and if you are flexible enough, you will have opportunities to wave at Kate, and maybe even shake her hand. Let's run through the schedule:

Day 1: Arrival December 7th. The couple arrive on the 7th. Keep in mind, the beauty of flying from Europe to the United States is that it can be accomplished in "one" day. William and Kate could take off anytime in the late morning and still arrive in the US in the early afternoon, e.g. they could leave at 10:30am in London and arrive just before 2pm in NYC. They could leave at noon and get in at 3:30pm. I suspect they will arrive between 2pm and 3pm. They will have been stuck on that flight for a while and will doubtless want to change and rest before their evening event. I do not suggest trying to see the couple at the airport. Hopefully, you weren't planning on that...

Day 1 Evening: The evening reception is being held by American Friends of the Royal Foundation.  This is likely a very high-dollar event. When William and Kate visited Los Angeles in 2011, the polo game in Santa Barbara was put on by The American Friends of the Royal Foundation and tickets went for $4,000 a piece. This is a longshot in terms of seeing them. We don't currently know where it will be held. While it may be somewhere that necessitates a public entrance, it could also be a scenario similar to the reception in Los Angeles when all anyone got was a wave through the glass. I loved the energy of the fans on the sidewalks with welcome signs, but instead of SoCal in summer, this trip will be New winter.

December 8th: William will be at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. If traipsing all the way to NYC is not viable, or your cup of tea, this is your chance to send your love back to Kate and George via His Royal Highness. D.C. is no stranger to visiting dignitaries, and security will be in place, but I would be surprised if there were not some vantage point provided. The World Bank is right in the thick of everything, so after you wave, you can sightsee around DC, or if you need some warming shelter, zip up 19th to Dupont Circle and enjoy Kramerbooks & Afterwards. It is a cafe/bookstore where you can eat pie, drink cocktails, and read books. The only way this scenario gets better is if it includes Paris...

Meanwhile, for the New York contingent, Kate has two engagements on Monday. The first will be at a local child development center, precise location unannounced. This could be an opportunity to wave from the sidewalk. Again, you will have to be flexible if you want to take advantage of this one. Visibility will clearly depend on location.

Kate's lunch is being hosted by the New York British Consul General. This could be at any number of beautiful hotels or private homes. If it is at a hotel, you might want to consider it, if it is at a home, don't waste your time.

The NBA basketball game in the evening will be at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. We have another 50/50 here. The two could be zipped in a back way, but the entrance is ideal for a waving photo-op and lots of room to control crowds behind barriers.  They could very well make a public entrance, and if they do, it would be a great opportunity to see them. By the time the game rolls around we will be able to judge from the other events, what the likelihood of a public entrance might be.

December 9th: All the events on the 9th fall in the same category as Kate's solo day. Likely these events will be arrivals by car with fans able to wave from behind barriers. Again, how close you can get will depend entirely on the road situation.

The 600th Anniversary gala at the Met is the glitziest event, and almost assuredly a great opportunity to see them. The Met hosts all manner of huge fundraisers with stars walking the red carpet and I think with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending, this party will be done up right. If you are not a risk taker, and want to arrive early, this is your event.

Red Carpet in Los Angeles, CA

Conclusion. The key is that the events are not created for the crowd, or organized for walkabouts as they are in the UK and on tours, but that is not to suggest the public is unwelcome or that William and Kate don't want to see the fans.  They are not coming on some Top Secret trip, trying to find a way to dodge cameras and get through it with as little hubbub as possible. It might not be a royal tour, but they are coming specifically to draw the public spotlight that is constantly trained on them, so it also shines on these various projects. Media will be on hand, William and Kate will smile and wave at crowds, it only means that some places will have better visibility than others. Don't feel like it's the Met or nothing. I am sure for the scrappy among us, the number of royal sightings will be abundant, even if fleeting in duration. At all times, the couple is thoughtful of the many people who are fans, and when possible, there may be brief walkabouts:

Obviously, as locations or more details are announced, I will keep you in the loop and we can see how it all starts to take shape. 

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