It’s not all work, work, work for Prince William and Kate Middleton on their New York trip. The pair got to enjoy some fun and caught the Brooklyn Nets' game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center on Monday night.
The high-profile couple saw their first NBA game to help launch a new collaboration between the Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA. The partnership aims to raise awareness about the importance of international wildlife conservation, develop the next generation of conservation leaders, and grow the game of basketball.
Kate, who was appropriately dressed for the occasion in chic black jeans, a grey textured dress coat by American designer Tory Burch, and a pair of heels, sat next to William who placed his hand on Kate's knee.
Not only were New Yorkers excited for the royal couple's arrival — even the players got a bit of royal mania.
“To hear that they’re coming to town to see me play and they want to see me do what I do best, it’s a huge honor," said Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. "You read about people like them only in books growing up."
The royal couple met the first family of hip-hop, Beyoncé and Jay Z, who previously held part ownership of the Nets, during the game. Just after the third quarter the song Rule Britannia played as the two couples chatted; the music then changed to the Beyoncé tune Crazy In Love. Other celebrities in attendance included New York Giants’ rookie Odell Beckham Jr.
Regular folks were excited to see the royals too. "I'm here visiting a friend," said Leo Tagg, 26, from London. "We did a lot of research to try to find out where [the royals] would be, so that's why we're here tonight. I was very touched by the standing ovation when they walked out."
Anthony Mantone, 22, from Long Island told HELLO!: "Seeing them was incredible. I tried to get close to take a photo but their security was tight. They seem happy and I support them."
However, more controversial guests were in attendance at the game as well. Protesters gathered outside the Barclays Center to demonstrate their anger after a grand jury voted not to indict an NYPD police officer over the chokehold death of Eric Garner. It is not clear whether the royal couple were aware of the protest; security was amped up for the game with witnesses telling HELLO! that secret service agents were all over the center.
The couple have already racked up a lot of engagements on their 3-day trip. Today William went to Washington D.C., where he met with President Obama in the Oval Office and visited the World Bank for the International Corruption Hunters Alliance Conference.
Kate stayed in New York to spend the day with New York City's first lady Chirlane McCray at the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem. She then headed to the British Consul General's Residence to talk with members of the city’s British community.
Thereafter, William returned to Kate’s side in New York City to attend a reception focused on conservation issues, hosted by the Royal Foundation and the Clinton Foundation. At the exclusive event, the couple got to chat with Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea.
The festivities continue: on Tuesday night, the royals will attend the University of St. Andrews 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.