The Prince and Princess of Wales will meet US President Joe Biden in Boston on Friday.
The Royal couple have landed in the US for a three-day visit designed to focus on their pet causes of climate change and the early years before culminating in a star-studded Earthshot Prize award ceremony on Friday evening.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre last night confirmed that Biden intended to "greet" the Prince and Princess on Friday.
"We're still finalising and working through the details,” she said.
It comes amid a Royal race row after Lady Susan Hussey, the Prince’s godmother, made “unacceptable and deeply regrettable” comments to a black domestic abuse campaigner at a Buckingham Palace reception.
Lady Susan, one of the most longstanding and senior aides to both the late Queen and the Queen Consort, has stepped aside from her role and expressed “profound apologies” for the hurt caused by comments made to Ngozi Fulani, director of the London charity Sistah Space, at the event on Tuesday.
A Kensington Palace spokesman, speaking in Boston ahead of the Royals’ arrival, said he was “disappointed” to hear of the incident and that “racism has no place in our society”.
For the Prince and Princess, the timing could not be worse. Their last overseas tour, to the Caribbean, was marred by criticism of its “colonial overtones” and “tone deaf” imagery.
However, a meeting with Mr Biden this week is likely to be welcomed by palace officials, elevating the Prince’s position on the world stage while also underscoring the close ties between the UK and the US.
When it emerged that the president would be in Boston on Friday for a political fundraiser, UK and US officials began comparing schedules in the hope that they could find a window that would allow a meeting.
Meeting not yet confirmed
The details are still being finalised, however.
One US-based source told The Telegraph that it would be unusual for the Prince of Wales not to meet the President if both were in the same city.
“There is an expectation that they should meet and we’re looking at diaries to try and find a suitable window,” one said.
Mr Biden is said to be “hugely supportive” of the Royal family and has met the Prince numerous times, including at both the G7 summit in Cornwall and Cop26 in Glasgow last year. He also travelled to the UK for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in September.
The inspiration behind Earthshot chimes with his own views about the urgency of climate action, aides said, and he would be personally keen to meet the Prince if time allows.
As heir to the throne, Prince Charles met US presidents including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W Bush and Barack Obama during visits to the country, while Jimmy Carter met Princess Anne when she visited in 1977.
When the Prince and Princess last visited the US in 2014, the Prince had a one-on-one meeting with then President Obama at the White House.
The two men compared notes on fatherhood following the recent birth of Prince George, while Mr Obama also praised the Duke’s “very important work” on combating illegal wildlife trafficking.
Mr Biden is scheduled to make an appearance at a fundraiser alongside Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey to raise money for Democrats in Georgia’s run-off election.
White House officials have not confirmed whether Mr Biden will attend the Earthshot Prize ceremony, however Mr Markey will be attending.
Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the US, said that compared with a traditional Royal tour, this week’s visit is “much more focused on the work being done in climate change”.
She told the New York Times the Prince and Princess were “very natural people”, adding: “They want to meet ordinary people who are working hard for their communities.”
The Royal couple arrived in Boston on a commercial airline mid-afternoon, local time.
Prince and Princess light up local landmarks green
The Prince later addressed the crowd of more than 1,000 gathered in torrential rain at Boston City Hall.
After a private meeting with city mayor Michelle Wu, the royals stepped outside for an official welcome event.
The Prince said: “Thank you to the hardy Bostonians braving the rain this evening.”
He said he and his wife were “absolutely delighted” to be in the city before describing how President John F Kennedy’s “moonshot” challenge to land on the moon had inspired the Earthshot awards.
After a countdown from the crowd, the Prince and Princess then pressed a “special wireless button” to turn the city hall and 15 other local landmarks, green.
The first speaker at the event was Rev Mariama White-Hammond, Boston’s chief of environment, energy and open space, who told the crowd, before the royals stepped onto the stage, to “consider the legacy of colonialism and racism.”
As the first official Royal visit to the US since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex relocated to California, all eyes were on how they would be received.
A comment piece in the Boston Herald said: “Get ready for traffic disruptions, a big taxpayer bill and a lot of needless bowing and curtsying” but acknowledged that the trip was a big draw.
“There will be plenty of stars, politicians and Kennedys all desperate to get invited to the big events,” it added.
The Boston Globe noted that when Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the city in 1976 to commemorate the country’s 200th birthday, tens of thousands of Bostonians turned out to greet them.
Julie Hall, president of the Charlestown Historical Society, said: “I absolutely think people love William and Kate and will be thrilled they are here.”
She added, perhaps ominously: “As a matter of fact, my mom was visiting from Philadelphia this weekend, and we binged The Crown.”
The Prince and Princess are said to be keen to meet local communities during their visit to Boston, which is famed for its Irish heritage, sports and history.
Later in the week, they will visit the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and tour Greentown Labs for an insight into the latest green technologies.
They will also visit Roca, a non-profit organisation supporting disadvantaged young people, while the Princess will visit the Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard University.
The Earthshot Prize, which celebrates climate innovations, has been hailed the Prince’s “Superbowl moment”.
It will take place at the MGM Music Hall, headlined by singers Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Beyonce proteges Chloe x Halle.