On First Day in US, a Surprise Event for William and Kate

Royals had much fun watching Celtics take on Miami Heat in Boston
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2022 6:41 AM CST
William and Kate at NBA Game: 'They Didn't Want It to Stop'
Britain's Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, watch an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat on Wednesday in Boston.   (Brian Snyder/Pool Photo via AP)

It's been eight years since Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, took in an NBA game, but that streak is now over. ESPN reports that, in a surprise appearance, the royal couple showed up at Boston's TD Garden on Wednesday evening to watch the matchup between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, one of their first events during their three-day visit to the States. "Catherine and I are delighted to be back in the United States and are extremely grateful to Governor [Charlie] Baker and the first lady of Massachusetts for their warm welcome into Boston," Prince William noted in a statement.

"Let's go Celtics, let's go!" the couple tweeted from their official account, and the Celtics did indeed go, with a 134-121 victory. People reports they were seated with Celtics legend Thomas "Satch" Sanders, the team's two main owners and their wives, and Massachusetts Gov.-elect Maura Healey, who used to play pro basketball herself. The Boston Globe notes the prince and princess were only supposed to stay for the first half of the game, as they'd been up for 22 hours straight after their flight across the pond, but "they didn't want it to stop," according to Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, so they came back for the second half.

William and Kate marveled at Celtic player Jayson Tatum's 49 points, were intrigued by guard Marcus Smart's green hair, and needed an explanation on why players sometimes shot from so far away (Grousbeck explained to them what a 3-pointer was). "They were just very down to earth, very personable," another Celtics co-owner, Steve Pagliuca, tells the Globe. The paper notes that the crowd's reception was "generally warm," though when the royals were introduced in the second quarter, "some boos were sprinkled in." The last time the two watched an NBA game in person was Dec. 8, 2014, in Brooklyn, when the Nets played the Cleveland Cavaliers. (More Prince William stories.)

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