Prince William sits in Oval Office, chats about George – USA TODAY
Imagine your surprise, minding your own business at the Washington airport, when suddenly Prince William appears.
Judging from pictures on Twitter, it looks like that was the scene this morning when Will arrived in the nation’s capital from New York, on his way to the White House and then to the World Bank.
The Duke of Cambridge arrived at the White House to meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden, who gave him public support for his efforts to stop the illegal trade in wildlife.
Jessica L. Jennings, of the British Embassy in Washington, confirmed he arrived without much ceremony, brought in on a side street beside the West Wing.
He got a tour of the White House, met with Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, then with Obama. They were seen chatting amiably but no one could make out what they were saying.
Later, ITV posted video of the two talking. Will told Obama he got so caught up in the excitement when Prince George was born that he “forgot” to ask whether he was a boy or girl.
“I remember when George was born, I forgot to work out whether it was a boy or a girl,” Will said to POTUS. “The excitement of the event and everything else was just chaos. You are suddenly… well actually it’s a boy. So now, it’s good. It’s going to be interesting next year. A busy year next year.”
Sky News tweeted it, too:
The White House said Obama wanted to thank Will “for the hospitality shown to him by the Royal Family during the President’s recent visits to the United Kingdom. This visit underscores the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
The meetings were closed to press, and there were rules: No selfies in the Oval Office.
Then he went to the World Bank for a conference and a speech on the illegal wildlife trade, one of his philanthropic passions and a major theme of his visit to the USA.
There, he announced an international taskforce in hopes of stopping the illegal trade. “By taking an international approach, we can hope to get one step ahead of (wildlife criminals),” he said.
Clearly, Will has taken to his role as a representative of Britain and its royal family with ease:
In a preview of his speech posted on Huffington Post today, Will said the topic is “extremely close to my heart.”
“I will be highlighting the link between corruption, wild and natural resource crime and illicit trade,” he wrote. “Corruption remains one of the most persistent and damaging impediments to the alleviation of poverty and, I believe, one of the most insidious forms of corruption in the world today is the illegal wildlife trade.”
Will and his pregnant wife, Duchess Kate, arrived in New York Sunday evening to a blaze of media cameras and the cheers of fans at JFK and outside the Carlyle Hotel where they are staying during their 48-hour trip stretched over three days.
Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, arrive in New York City to the adulation of fans. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
Video provided by Reuters
Meanwhile, Kate is in New York today, at her first engagement, a visit to a child-development center (one of her charity interests) in Harlem with New York first lady Chirlane McCray.
Juliette Mace, 20, an au pair from France who’s been in New York for a year, was one of a crowd of people that let out a big cheer when she arrived, waved and dashed into the building.
“I don’t remember Diana but I read a lot about her, and I think Kate is the new Diana,” Mace said. “She’s the most important of the royals. She’s modern, she’s beautiful, she’s a princess, she’s living every girl’s dream of marrying a prince.”
Reporters and photographers waited, shivering in the cold, outside the Northside Center, until New York police took pity on them and let them out of the media pen, leading to jokes on Twitter.
Will is scheduled to rejoin his wife later Monday, and both are attending a hotly anticipated NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
Contributing: David M. Jackson in Washington, Cindy Clark in Washington, Jocelyn McClurg in New York