NEW YORK – Prince William ended his whirlwind two-day tour of New York by greeting an enthusiastic crowd at an FDNY fire station on his final date in the city.
The Prince of Wales received gifts during the event from a royals fan named Alyssa Budihas, who spoke to the press – including HuffPost – after her royal encounter.
“I thanked him for visiting us and I gave him three ‘I ❤️ NY’ T-shirts, one for each of the children,” Budihas, a lawyer, said of the gifts for Princess Prince George Charlotte and Prince Louis.
She added that she bought the shirts at a gift shop two doors down from William’s FDNY Ten House stop and that her hands were shaking as the prince approached her.
In addition to the T-shirts, Budihas also purchased two souvenir New York license plates that read “William” and “Catherine” for the Prince and Princess of Wales.
You can watch the exchange between Budihas and William in video footage captured by HuffPost below:
Budihas, a lifelong New York and Royals fan, said she was “very overwhelmed” by the encounter. She added that she was “very grateful” that the prince was “as kind and gracious” as she had always imagined, and that the encounter was “as intended” since the royal visit took place just two blocks away got from her office.
During the fire department visit, William received other gifts including rubber fire engines with the Ten House logo, as well as pens, notebooks and T-shirts.
The Prince of Wales opened the second day of his New York trip with a meeting with Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso and First Lady Maria de Lourdes Alcívar Crespo during the 78th UN General Assembly in New York.
They met at the British Consul General’s official residence, which was decorated with an authentic Andy Warhol print of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the late monarch’s funeral.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened the summit, co-hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies, by joking about the prince’s popularity.
William was recently named the most popular candidate “about whom the majority of Americans feel comfortable and about whom Republicans and Democrats can agree.” in a viral Gallup poll that made headlines last month.
“The prince has clearly won over Americans of all stripes, and that, as you all know, is no small feat these days,” Bloomberg said, adding that the polls showed that over 60% of Democrats and over 60% of Republicans viewed William favorably .
“America hasn’t seen this kind of bipartisanship since 1776,” Bloomberg said to laughter from the audience. “But this time we all drink to the king’s well-being.”
Following panel appearances by former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the summit, the Prince of Wales appeared for a fireside chat and noted that he had even gone for a jog in Central Park earlier in the day.
“I decided to join the hordes of New Yorkers in their morning routine,” the prince said, adding that it was “wonderful to wake up to a sunny morning in New York instead of the rain we had yesterday.”
At the summit that was announced the 15 finalists For the 2023 Earthshot Prize, the prince also confirmed that he will attend the awards ceremony in Singapore on November 7 this year.