The Prince of Wales joked he was “better in cold weather” when a visit to Boston’s windswept waterfront left the future King and his wife visibly cold.
William and Kate’s tour of Piers Park, in temperatures that felt well below freezing due to the windchill, saw them learn about the history of the area now threatened by rising sea levels.
When chatting to community representatives the prince joked about his hands in his pockets saying “when I can feel them again they come back out” after Elizabeth Solomon, an elder from the Massachusett tribe, offered him some hand warmers.
He added: “We’re better in cold weather rather than hot weather, so it’s fine.”
The prince and princess heard about the history of the waterfront, much of it built on manmade land and now in danger of being reclaimed by the sea.
Ms Solomon said she raised with William the issue of re-establishing the relationship between the Crown, British Government and her Massachusett tribe as a way of fostering closer ties.
The couple were also hosted by Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, the city of Boston’s chief of environment, energy, and open space, who at a welcome ceremony for the Waleses on Wednesday spoke out about the “legacy of colonialism and racism”.
Reverend Mariama White-Hammond said in her address: “On this day, I invite us all to consider the legacy of colonialism and racism.”
She added: “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.”
After the royal visit to the waterfront she declined to comment further about her speech but said the remarks were part of her standard address to visiting dignitaries and at the time she was not aware of the race row that had engulfed the royal family.,
Lady Susan Hussey, William’s godmother, has resigned from her role in the royal household and apologised after she repeatedly questioned Ngozi Fulani, a prominent black British-born domestic abuse charity boss, about where she “really came from” during a Buckingham Palace reception.
The royal couple toured a pier in the east Boston park and briefly posed for a photograph with the city skyline in the background before leaving.