Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, laid flowers Tuesday at one of New York City’s most somber sites — the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.
The couple crossed the memorial plaza in pouring rain and wind, each holding a black umbrella. They were escorted by memorial and museum President Joe Daniels. The royals then laid a bouquet at one of two reflecting pools built in the footprints of the fallen towers. Each is ringed with the chiseled names of the nearly 2,900 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa.
After paying their respects at the southern pool, William and Kate entered the underground museum that commemorates the attacks.
During their half-hour visit, they wrote “Catherine” and “William” in script in an area where visitors can leave a message or signature with a stylus on an electronic tablet.
Museum chief of staff Allison Blais said the duchess “talked about how in awe she was of the enormity of the space; it was something she didn’t anticipate.” Blais said Kate also spoke about how moving the memorial was and being able to touch the names of the victims.
About a dozen museumgoers awaited William and Kate, braving the wet weather for a glimpse of the royals.
The morning visit to the site where 67 British citizens died — the most of any foreign country — came on the last day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s trip. Their visit to New York and his to Washington was the first time either of them has visited those cities.