William and Kate sit courtside at NBA as race row overshadows Earthshot tour
The Prince and Princess of Wales sat courtside to watch an NBA game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat at the end of the first day of their visit to the US.
William and Kate’s three-day trip to Boston has been overshadowed by the growing race row engulfing the future King’s godmother which has left the monarchy accused of being institutionally racist.
Lady Susan Hussey has resigned from her role in the royal household and apologised after she repeatedly questioned Ngozi Fulani, a prominent black British-born domestic abuse charity boss, about where she “really came from” during a Buckingham Palace reception.
The prince is understood to agree it was right for Lady Susan to step down from her honorary role as one of three Ladies of the Household, with a Kensington Palace spokesman telling reporters in the US ahead of the three-day trip to Boston: “Racism has no place in our society.”
However, Ms Fulani said that despite the “overt racism” she believes she was subjected to, she did not wish for Lady Susan to resign over the incident.
Ms Fulani told The Guardian: “It’s tragic for me that it has ended that way. I would have preferred that she had been spoken to or reeducated.”
At the start of the basketball game on Wednesday night the prince and princess were seen watching intently as the Celtics raced into an early lead and during the event sat alongside alongside Massachusetts Governor-Elect, Maura Healey, Celtics Legend Thomas “Satch” Sanders, and the team’s two principal owners and their wives.
Kate and William stood for the national anthem The Star Spangled Banner but later the royal couple were subject to small pockets of boos around the arena when they were introduced by a stadium announcer and shown on the big screen.
The Boston Celtics’ name was inspired by the Original Celtics, a well-known basketball team that had been created by Irish immigrants in New York earlier in the 20th century, before folding in 1930.
Other fans in the crowd could be heard loudly cheering “USA, USA” when the Prince and Princess appeared on the screens in the centre above the court.
After the second quarter with the game tied 47 all William and Kate watched as the Celtics honoured their long standing tradition of recognising a “Hero Among Us”, heralding individuals working to positively impact the community.
Ollie Perrault, a 15-year-old climate activist, now the founder and director of Youth Climate Action Now, met the royal pair after being cheered by the local crowd for her work as a leading member of the Youth Climate Leadership Program since she was 11.
During Thursday, William and Kate will visit Greentown Labs, a tech hub which has been nurturing climate pioneers for more than a decade.
Greentown is believed to be the largest climate technology start-up incubator in North America, having supported more than 500 companies, since founded in 2011, that have created more than 9,000 jobs and raised more than four billion dollars (£3.3b) in funding.
They will also tour Roca, a non-profit organisation focusing on young people at risk of becoming involved in urban violence.
The couple will meet with leaders of the organisation to learn about their intervention model and spend time with women in the young mothers’ programme, current members and alumni of the young men’s programme.