Prince William made his first visit to New York City in nearly ten years this week, to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit at the Plaza Hotel on September 19, where he unveiled the 15 finalists of the coveted prize.
Though only a two-day visit, he ensured to get the best of NYC while he was here, and did everything from wading into the East River – waist-deep! – with the Billion Oyster Project, and had a poignant visit to FDNY's Ten House, across the street from the 9/11 Ground Zero memorial.
It was during his visit to the downtown New York City firehouse that eager fans were left awestruck after the Prince took some time to greet them, and no one was left more overwhelmed than royal enthusiast Alyssa Budihas.
Alyssa is both a born and raised New Yorker and lifelong royal fan, and having the two converge left her in tears.
HELLO! spoke with Alyssa after her emotional encounter with William, when she him two NYC license plates with his name and Princess Kate's, plus classic "I Heart NY" t-shirts for Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Speaking with reporters about the exciting experience, Alyssa, a legal counsel for Wilmer Hale, said: "I thanked him for coming to visit us and I gave him three 'I Love New York' t-shirts, one for each of the children."
Alyssa was brought to tears as soon as the Prince accepted her gift, and said she was feeling "very overwhelmed, very happy," and: "Very grateful that he was as kind and gracious as I had always imagined."
The Greenwich Village resident noted that although NYC and royal fever "don't often go hand in hand," for her, "they very much do."
The royal fan added: "It felt like, almost meant to be, I'm two blocks from my office. So this was... it worked out pretty well that I could pop out for a bit."
When the moment to meet William finally came, she confessed her hands were "shaking," adding: "I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, it's really happening.' I've spent quite a bit of time in London and I love the UK. So for it to come together like this here in New York was actually pretty funny. That is where I got the quick meet and greet."
She continued: "He was wonderful… and I think the work that he is doing… to be here with Earthshot, I think that the work that he is doing it's just quite important."
Alyssa also got to briefly chat with William's Chief of Staff and said: "I thought it was just nice to see that they're surrounding themselves with such kind people as well."
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