New videos show Prince William and Kate Middleton being mocked with raucous chants of “USA, USA” as they sat courtside at a Celtics game on the first night of their whirlwind Boston trip Wednesday.
Just hours after touching down in the Massachusetts capital for their first stateside visit since 2014, the Prince and Princess of Wales, both 40, watched the Celtics take on the Miami Heat alongside Massachusetts Governor-Elect Maura Healey, Celtics legend Thomas “Satch” Sanders, and two of the team’s owners.
But when the royal couple were featured on the Jumbotron twice, they were met with raucous cries of “USA, USA” from enthusiastic Boston fans.
In several videos that quickly spread across social media Wednesday night, a chorus of loud “boos” can also be heard amid a smattering of cheers.
Jokesters were quick to poke fun of the awkward moment, with one Twitter user writing, “What was the Point of Dumping the Tea in the Harbor if you’re just going to invite the Royals to a Celtics game 249 years later…”
The frosty reception — which ITV NEWS’ royal editor Chris Ship attributed to the Boston team’s “strong Irish roots”— comes after the couple’s trip was already marred by accusations of racism in the royal family.
Shortly before the Prince and Princess of Wales touched down on American soil, William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey resigned from her honorary position in King Charles’ household after making “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” to a black domestic abuse campaigner during a Buckingham Palace event.
The offense took place at a Palace reception on Tuesday, where Hussey, 83, repeatedly asked the non-profit founder Ngozi Fulani, 61, where she came from.
Although Prince William avoided commenting on the scandal directly, a spokesperson from Kensington Palace addressed the news at a briefing on Wednesday.
“I was really disappointed to hear about the guest’s experience at Buckingham Palace last night,” the spokesperson said.
“Obviously, I wasn’t there, but racism has no place in our society. The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual has stepped aside with immediate effect.”
The fallout from the allegations are casting a long shadow over what was supposed to be a glamorous trip for William and Kate.
“This is a PR disaster for the Royal Family… especially at the start of William and Kate’s US trip which will be dominated by a new racism row,” PR expert Mark Burkowski told The Daily Mail.
“They are flying into a perfect storm.”
In addition to the usual charity stops, the couple is expected to rub shoulders with President Biden on Friday before presenting the Earthshot Prize at a star-studded gala on Friday night.
The rocky start to the Wales’ Boston visit is also compounded by the release of the trailer for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming Netflix documentary.
Harry and Meghan famously quit their royal duties in January 2020 and moved to California.
The runaway couple then accused the royals of racism during their explosive Oprah interview in 2021.
Among the couple’s accusations was that an unnamed “senior royal” questioned the skin color of their then-unborn first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.