, LONDON, Dec 7 – Prince William and his pregnant wife Kate head to New York on Sunday for a glitzy visit that marks a step up in their role representing Britain abroad, royal commentators said.
The three-day trip will see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 32, mix diplomacy with supporting their favourite causes and promoting British business interests.
Crucially for William, he will meet US President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday for talks about illegal wildlife trading, an issue close to the prince’s heart. READ: Prince William slams ‘despicable’ poaching before talks
William, second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, is starting to do more of the long-haul work for the British monarchy as Queen Elizabeth II approaches her nineties.
“It’s a significant trip which is trying to establish William further in a diplomatic, statesmanlike role,” Robert Jobson, author of “The New Royal Family” on William, Kate and their baby son Prince George, told AFP.
The official visit will be only the second undertaken by William and Kate outside the Commonwealth family of nations, following a brief stop in California at the end of their 2011 Canada tour.
And rather than visiting on behalf of Queen Elizabeth or touring one of her realms, this time they will be expressly visiting on behalf of the British government.