The British (royals) are coming!
Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, arrived in New York City on Sunday, the first visit to the city for both of them. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a full schedule, including a visit to the 9/11 Museum, followed by a meeting Monday with President Barack Obama at the White House. Kate was scheduled to tour a child development center with the city’s first lady, Chirlane McCray.
The visit is expected to put McCray in the spotlight. The city’s most powerful and divisive first lady in generations, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly termed her his closest adviser.
And McCray, who is black, is a beloved figure in communities of color. On a trip to a Brooklyn hair salon last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand went virtually unrecognized while the first lady was greeted like a star.
“She doesn’t carry herself like royalty. She carries herself like a regular person,” said Christina Greer, a political science professor at Fordham University. “A lot of New Yorkers think, ‘If anyone in politics can really understand me, it’s her.’”
A Quinnipiac poll released last month suggested New Yorkers don’t want her to play a large role in running the city. It found that 34 percent of respondents thought a mayor’s wife shouldn’t be involved at all with shaping public policy, while 37 percent said she should only have a minor role.
But her husband has not discouraged comparisons to a “vote for one, get two” mantra like the one that surrounded Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“Never in my wildest, most far-out dreams did I ever think I’d be spending time with the Duchess of Cambridge,” McCray said.