Make way for the royals! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, will be arriving on Sunday for their first joint tour of New York City. The highly publicized event has New Yorkers in a flurry of excitement, mirroring that of the 1985 United States visit by Prince William’s parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
On Nov. 9, 1985, Prince Charles and Princess Diana took a trip similar to that of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s upcoming journey. The royal couple set up a four-day visit, but with a different location – Washington, D.C. and Florida.
According to the BBC, the Prince and Princess of Wales began their U.S. excursion with a gala dinner hosted by President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan. The royals rubbed shoulders with Hollywood’s elite at the time, like Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck and Neil Diamond. Princess Diana infamously danced with “Saturday Night Fever” star John Travolta. The now 60-year-old actor recently revealed that he felt like “Princess Diana’s Prince Charming.”
“I put my hand in the middle of her back, brought her hand down so that I wouldn’t be so high and gave her the confidence that we would do just fine,” Travolta dished to the UK’s Telegraph in February.
The dress Princess Diana wore, a velvet midnight blue number by designer Victor Edelstein, fetched $362,424 when it was auctioned off in London in March 2013.
Following the gala, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s tour continued with morning service at Washington Cathedral, a visit to the National Gallery of Art for “The Treasure Houses of Britain” collection, and a trip to a Springfield, Virginia JC Penney’s to view the “Best of Britain” promotion at the department store. Since their stay in the U.S. overlapped with Veterans Day, Prince Charles visited Arlington National Cemetery to pay his respect to war heroes. The royal couple rounded out their tour with a flight to Palm Bach, Florida for a polo match.
While Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s trip differs from that of their son, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, they do share some similarities. Both couples decided to pay a visit to the United States a couple years after marriage – four years for Charles and Diana, and three years for William and Kate. They also chose to leave their children at home while they conducted business. Prince William was three-years-old, and Prince Harry was one-years-old when their parents toured the U.S. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are expecting their second child in April, decided to leave one-year-old Prince George behind.
Like the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge is reportedly visiting the White House first. E! Online reports that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will receive William before a visit to the World Bank. He’s expected to attend the International Corruption Hunters Alliance conference with William Hague, the first Secretary of State and a British Conservative politician.
While Prince William is in Washington, D.C., Kate Middleton will be in New York City. The Duchess will accompany Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, to the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem.
Prince William and Kate Middleton won’t stay separated for long though. On Monday night the couple will reportedly meet Beyoncé and Jay Z at the Brooklyn Nets - Cleveland Cavaliers NBA game at Barclays Center. It’s there that the Duke will promote his charity, the United for Wildlife Foundation.
Their New York City stay will round out with a visit to the National September 11 Memorial Museum, a tour of the CityKids Foundation, and a fundraising gala for their alma mater, the University of St. Andrews, among other receptions.
The royal couple will be staying at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side. The location housed Princess Diana during her visits to the Big Apple.