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A Night at the Museum: William and Catherine end whirlwind US tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a gala dinner at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on Tuesday evening, to celebrate the 600th anniversary of St Andrews University.

The event, which is the couple’s final engagement of a two-day tour of New York City and Washington D.C., aims to support scholarships and bursaries for students from under-privileged communities, alongside investment in the university’s media and science faculties and a lectureship in American Literature.

Both Prince William and Catherine graduated from St Andrews in 2005; the Prince with a 2:1 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography and The Duchess with a 2:1 Master of Arts degree in History of Art.

Arriving at 19:00 local time, the couple beamed for the photographers.

After a pre-dinner reception, where the couple mingled with invited guests, The Duke made a speech praising the university as a “remarkable, independent institution” and speaking of the shared memories: “We have the warmest of memories of our time as undergraduates and the friends we made there.”

Tuesday’s event comes after another long day of engagements for William and Catherine. Both were moved by their visit to the National September 11th Memorial Museum, where they placed flowers at one of the Reflecting Pools and digitally signed their names next to a steel beam recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.

Later in the morning, the couple met with young people involved in artistic programmes with two of New York City’s leading youth organisations, The Door and The CityKids Foundation. The Duke and Duchess toured the facilities and were treated to a youth performance, including original song, dance and theatre pieces.

Afterwards, the royals sat down with eight young people to hear of their experiences living in the city and the obstacles that they face. They also learnt about the wide-ranging support services on offer to young people to help them reach their potential.

Young people’s development is one of the couple’s key areas of interest and, through their Royal Foundation, they aim to help provide access to opportunities particularly for those with health or mental health issues.

The afternoon saw Prince William and Catherine fly the flag for the UK’s creative industries, meeting with a wealth of British talent, including actor Sir Patrick Stewart, at NeueHouse.

As Catherine headed back to The Carlyle to recuperate, The Duke made a visit to the Empire State Building to attend a technology and innovation-themed reception. Alongside New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, William presented the 2014 winners of the GREAT Tech Awards with their trophies.

The event brings together entrepreneurs from the UK and the US and the winners of this year’s competition recently returned from a week-long business-development programme in the UK.

As the evening’s engagement’s draw a close, so too does the royal couple’s whirlwind tour of the East Coast. The Duke and Duchess will return home to the UK after the gala dinner, where it is reported their son, Prince George, has spent the last few days with his grandparents at their home in Bucklebury.

Prince William is due to undertake engagements in Staffordshire and Birmingham on Friday where he will attend the Football Remembers Memorial dedication, honouring the Christmas Truce story at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Image Credits: Rebecca English, Jason DeCrow / Getty Images

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