In a statement, William said the couple are “delighted” to be back in the country and they are “incredibly grateful to Governor Baker and the First Lady of Massachusetts for their warm welcome to Boston.”
“This was our first overseas visit since my grandmother’s death, and I would like to thank the people of Massachusetts, especially Boston, for the many tributes to the late Queen,” William said. “Her bicentennial visit in 1976 is well remembered.”
Their visit will begin Wednesday with a welcome event at Boston’s City Hall Plaza, where Mayor Michelle Wu will meet them at 4:15 p.m. “rain or shine,” said Eamon Shelton, the city’s property management commissioner this week. told reporters.
“We’re expecting heavy rain,” Shelton said. “Take your umbrella.”
While in Boston, the royal couple will also visit Chelsea-based youth development organization Roca and Summerville-based Greentown Labs. Other stops include Kate stopping by Harvard University’s Center for Developing Children, while William is scheduled to visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester on Friday.
The visit will culminate with William and Kate attending the Earthshot Awards, a star-studded ceremony at the MGM Hall in Fenway on Friday. The Boston event marks the second time the Environmental Prize will be presented to a group of innovators.
William recalled that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September, was one of the “optimists of life”, noting that this common trait inspired him to launch the Fight for the Planet Prize.
“My grandmother was one of the optimists in life. So was I,” he said in the statement. “That’s why we launched the Champions of the Earth Prize last year to create a truly global platform that inspires hope and urgent optimism as we seek to save our planet’s future.”
An event at City Hall Square could draw thousands of people, Shelton said. It will be open to the public and feature speeches by Wu; Prince William; Ambassador Caroline Kennedy; and Mariama White-Hammond, Boston’s director of environment, energy and open space.
Thankfully, Shelton says, “the plaza is built for” large crowds.
“This is an opportunity to showcase Boston to the rest of the world,” he said.
Anticipating traffic conditions, Shelton encouraged people planning to attend the event to take public transportation and arrive early.
The royal visit will have tight security, including British law enforcement officials and the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. Wu told WBUR on Monday that a lot of preparation had been done ahead of William and Kate’s arrival to ensure the visit went smoothly.
“We’re really excited about the itinerary, the issues that will be discussed, the opportunity to walk and see some of the infrastructure up close, and even ahead of the awards ceremony later this week,” Wu said.
As for whether Wu will serve tea and scones?
“That’s TBD,” Sheldon said with a laugh.
British food or not, William said he and Kate were enthusiastic about their trip to Boston.
“Thank you to the people of Boston. I really appreciate you allowing us to host the second year of the Earthshot Awards in your great city,” he said in the statement. “Catherine and I can’t wait to meet many of you in the days to come.”
Globe employees Emily Sweeney and Emma Platoff contributed to this report.
Shannon Larson can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.