William and Kate courtside at basketball game as race row mars US tour - after listening to lecture on 'colonialism'

1 December 2022, 08:18 | Updated: 1 December 2022, 09:31

The royal family has become embroiled in a racism row
The royal family has become embroiled in a racism row. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

The Prince and Princess of Wales were bombarded with chants of "USA, USA" when they appeared on big screens as they made a courtside appearance at a Boston Celtics basketball game during their whirlwind trip to the US.

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William and Kate sat courtside to watch the NBA game, alongside Massachusetts Governor-Elect, Maura Healey, Celtics Legend Thomas "Satch" Sanders, and the team's two principal owners and their wives.

They stood for the national anthem The Star Spangled Banner but later faced small pockets of boos around the arena when they were introduced by a stadium announcer and shown on the big screen.

William and Kate courtside at the basketball
William and Kate courtside at the basketball. Picture: Alamy

Meanwhile, other fans in the crowd could be heard loudly cheering "USA, USA" when the Prince and Princess appeared on the screens in the centre above the court.

Read more: Fears William and Kate's US trip could be overshadowed by race scandal after charity boss 'interrogated' at palace

Read more: Prince William's godmother quits and apologises after race row erupts at Queen Consort’s Palace reception

William with the ball from the game
William with the ball from the game. Picture: Getty

The Prince of Wales and his wife flew to Boston to promote their Earthshot prize to help fight climate change

But the trip has come amid a growing race row engulfing the future King's godmother, which has since left the monarchy accused of being institutionally racist.

Lady Susan Hussey resigned from her role in the royal household and apologised after she repeatedly questioned a prominent black British-born domestic abuse charity boss about where she "really came from" during a Buckingham Palace reception.

The royals cheering along with the crowds
The royals cheering along with the crowds. Picture: Getty
William and Kate watching the game intently
William and Kate watching the game intently. Picture: Getty

Just hours before the game, during the Earthshot launch, William and Kate had watched on from the wings as a Reverend gave a lecture on "colonialism and racism".

Reverend Hammond, who founded a youth organisation focused on "teaching the history of the Civil Rights Movement", said: "On this day, I invite us all to consider the legacy of colonialism and racism."

She continued: "The ways it has impacted people across the world and its connection, its deep connection to the degradation of land and our planet that we are all seeking to reverse.

"The stories lost, the species made extinct, but also the persistence of people in the face of oppression and the fundamental dignity of all of our relations."

The prince is understood to agree it was right for Lady Susan to step down from her honorary role as one of three Ladies of the Household, with a Kensington Palace spokesman telling reporters in the US ahead of the three-day trip to Boston: "Racism has no place in our society."

Reverend Mariama White-Hammond
Reverend Mariama White-Hammond. Picture: Boston City TV
Lady Susan Hussey has resigned after the comments made at the Buckingham Palace event
Lady Susan Hussey has resigned after the comments made at the Buckingham Palace event. Picture: Getty

On Thursday, William and Kate will visit Greentown Labs, a tech hub which has been nurturing climate pioneers for more than a decade.

Greentown is believed to be the largest climate technology start-up incubator in North America, having supported more than 500 companies, since founded in 2011, that have created more than 9,000 jobs and raised more than four billion dollars (£3.3b) in funding.

They will also tour Roca, a non-profit organisation focusing on young people at risk of becoming involved in urban violence.

The couple will meet with leaders of the organisation to learn about their intervention model and spend time with women in the young mothers' programme, current members and alumni of the young men's programme.