Kate visits Harvard children's centre as fans flock to see her before Earthshot prize tonight

2 December 2022, 18:03 | Updated: 2 December 2022, 18:05

Kate was greeted by cheering fans
Kate was greeted by cheering fans. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Kate Middleton has visited the Harvard children's centre in Boston, with fans crowding to catch a glimpse of the princess ahead of the Earthshot environmental prize tonight.

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The Princess of Wales, who was travelling without her husband Prince William for this part of the Boston tour, visited the Harvard Centre on the Developing Child to learn about the advances scientists are making in children's education.

Kate took notes throughout the meeting, and even signed the Harvard guestbook - an echo of when her father-in-law King Charles left his signature in the book 36 years ago.

She was greeted by cheering crowds of people, some of whom had travelled more than 1,000 miles to see her, when she arrived at the centre on Friday.

A girl waits for the arrival of Catherine, Princess of Wales, for a visit to The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard Universit
A girl waits for the arrival of Catherine, Princess of Wales, for a visit to The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard Universit. Picture: Getty

But she only waved briefly, and did not linger long outside, leading to laughs and some light-hearted groans from the people waiting.

Victoria George, 32, from Boston, went to see Kate with her daughters, two-year-old Madeleine and three-month-old Savannah, so she could tell them they had been near a future Queen.

She told the Mail Online: "I'm a huge royal fan, I went to Boston City Hall on Wednesday and I wanted my daughters to get a chance to meet her."

She added: "When my daughters find out that the future Queen of England was in town, I want them to have been there."

People wait for the arrival of Catherine, Princess of Wales
People wait for the arrival of Catherine, Princess of Wales. Picture: Getty

Tamara Thomas, who had come from Florida just to see the couple, is such a fan of the royals that she named her daughter after Queen Victoria.

Ms Thomas, who was outside the Harvard centre with Victoria and her husband, Lester Thomas, said: 'We heard William and Kate were going to be here so we have been planning this trip for a while.

"I have always loved them and I love their passion for early years with Catherine - and the environment and climate change with William."

Meanwhile a group of teachers from the small town of Benton, Kentucky - nearly 1,200 miles from Boston - said they had flown in to support Kate in her efforts.

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Ladonna Ward, Tessa Powell, Angela Morris and Erin Mathis brought signs saying 'HRH' and 'Kentucky teachers'.

Ladonna said: "They are exceptional role models for the younger generation. We took my daughter out of school so she could see them."

"Early childhood education creates foundations that are essential as a child grows and if they miss that opportunity, often they start out behind.

"I really respect the work Kate has been doing on children and families."

The royal couple on an earlier visit
The royal couple on an earlier visit. Picture: Getty

Angela said: "This is probably the closest we will ever be. Even just a glimpse would be a dream."

William and Kate are presenting their Earthshot award at a ceremony tonight. The award aims to promote innovation in the field of climate science.

But their trip has been partly overshadowed by a race scandal at home, after William's godmother, Lady Susan Hussey, repeatedly asked a black British charity boss at a Buckingham Palace event where she was from.

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales speak with Mayor Michelle Wu and Reverend Mariama White-Hammond
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales speak with Mayor Michelle Wu and Reverend Mariama White-Hammond. Picture: Getty

Lady Susan has since apologised and stepped down from her role as a companion to the Queen Consort.

A reverend appeared to make a subtle reference to the scandal at the first event after William and Kate arrived in Boston on Wednesday,

Reverend Mariama White-Hammond spoke about the legacies of colonialism and racism at the event, although she later said she was unaware of the palace race scandal when she made the remarks.

Read more: Smiling Wills and Kate walk with US reverend who reminded them of 'racist legacy' amid palace race row

William and Kate later met up with the Reverend again for a walk along Boston's shoreline, to learn about the effects of rising sea levels on the coast.

Their visit has also coincided with the release of an explosive trailer for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Netflix documentary, called 'Harry and Meghan'.

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Images of William and Kate appear in the short clip, suggesting there may be material in the film that is difficult for the relationship between the two couples.

But neither William nor Kate have personally addressed the issues, although their spokesperson condemned Lady Susan's comments.

Read more: Lady Susan Hussey offers to meet campaigner to apologise for asking her: 'What part of Africa are you from?'

Read more: 'A declaration of war': Fury as Harry and Meghan release documentary trailer during Kate and William's US tour

And they appear to have been relatively relaxed on the trip so far, despite having been booed at a basketball game.

William went to the JFK Presidential Library this afternoon to learn about JFK's Moonshot project, which inspired the Earthshot prize.  

He will also meet President Joe Biden later on Friday, before going to the Earthshot prize gala later this evening.