By Tyler McCarthy
It looks like New York City will get the royal treatment Dec. 7–9 when Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton of Cambridge make their first visit to promote, among many things, an end to wildlife poaching around the world.
Price William will be in the country to advocate for United For Wildlife, a charitable organization of which he is the president. He created the organization, along with his brother Prince Harry, in an effort to bring the world’s leading wildlife conservation charities together under a single banner.
“I believe passionately that we have a duty to prevent critically endangered species from being wiped out,” a statement from Prince William says on the organization’s website. “If we get together, everywhere, we can preserve these animals so that they share our world with future generations. That’s what United for Wildlife is all about, and why I’m proud to be involved.”
The prince will leave his wife in New York City for a brief time on Monday to travel to Washington, D.C. There, he will meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in separate meetings. The visit will be more than a friendly meet and greet between world repersentatives. Prince William is expected to try and get a bit of U.S. support for his wildlife conservation project.
According to BBC News, the president believes in the prince’s advocacy for fighting what he calls, “a devastating environmental problem.” In a statement, the White House also described the issue as a national security threat. The BBC also notes that wildlife poaching and trading is the fourth most lucrative criminal trade in the world. The top three ahead of it are drugs, arms and human beings.
The prince will speak at the World Bank about the illegal trade of wildlife before bidding the nation’s capitol goodbye to rejoin his wife in the Big Apple. The two will attend another reception to support wildlife conservation groups before making their way to Brooklyn to see their first NBA game. The royal couple has tickets to the Brooklyn Nets' game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center.
"On Monday evening, Their Royal Highnesses will attend an NBA basketball game to help launch a new collaboration between the Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA," reads a news release issued by the British government for the three day trip.
According to USA Today, the royal couple might meet the first family of hip-hop, Jay Z and Beyoncé. Jay Z previously held part ownership of the Nets and the couple could very well be in attendance. Meanwhile, ESPN speculates that the royal pair could also shake hands with NBA star LeBron James, who plays for the Cavaliers.
Other stops on the royal couple’s first visit to the United States since seeing California in 2011 include visiting the Sept. 11 memorial, charitable events to support the underprivileged and a reception at the Empire State building accompanied by NYC mayor Bill de Blasio. They're expected to land in the U.S. on Sunday evening. Video.