As a cold, steady rain fell on lower Manhattan Tuesday morning, Prince William and Kate Middleton visited the 9/11 memorial and left a heartfelt message of tribute to those who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Kate laid flowers in memory of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks
The couple left a bouquet of long-stemmed white roses with a message that read, "In sorrowful memory of those who died on 11th September and the admiration of the courage to rebuild, William and Catherine."
The memorial honors the 2,753 people, including 67 British citizens, killed when two hijacked planes were intentionally crashed in the north and south towers.
The royals lay a wreath at one of the reflecting pools at the National September 11 Memorial
The pair were prepared for the New York weather with William carrying an umbrella borrowed from the Carlyle Hotel and Kate wearing a beautiful fuschia pink Mulberry coat. But they were unprepared for the sheer size of the location.
Prince William and Kate Middleton visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Duchess Kate "talked about how in awe she was of enormity of the space," Allison Blais, the museum’s chief of staff, told reporters. "It was something she did not anticipate. She also talked about how moving the memorial was, and being able to touch the names of the victims outside on the pools.”
The memorial is composed of two square pools where the Twin Towers once stood and a museum which has quickly become one of the city's top tourist attractions.
The royal couple took umbrellas from their hotel to protect them from the New York rain
Once inside the museum, the couple signed their digital signatures alongside a recovered piece of steel, which was the last piece of steel to be removed from the World Trade Center site.
The sombre engagement at the 9/11 Museum came on the final day of their trip to the US
The couple were most visibly moved visiting the In Memoriam room, where photographs of nearly all of the victims cover the high walls and recorded voices hauntingly intone the names of their loved ones.
“You could see it really in both their eyes," said Joe Daniels, the museums’s chief executive and president, "the sort of care and curiosity they had for the story of what happened and the people who died that day.”
William and Kate signed their names on the digital registry which is situated in the museum
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in New York on Sunday and have already attended many engagements on their 3-day trip. On Monday, 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.
Then the royal couple reunited and attended 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.
And last night they watched an NBA Basketball game, the Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, where they met music royalty Jay Z and Beyoncé.
The festivities continue: tonight the royals will attend the University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.