KATE’S CLUB: While royalwatching is a multigenerational sport of sorts in the U.K., most can’t-be-bothered New Yorkers carried on with their overbooked routines Monday despite the chance to spy a future queen. But those who ventured out in the 27-degree day to catch a glimpse of the Duchess of Cambridge outside of the British Consulate General Residence proved to have some serious staying power, clapping their gloved hands and occasionally marching in place to try to stay warm themselves during the hours-long stakeout.
While British photographers speculated about how many times the Duchess has visited her parents in recent months and American lensmen jockeyed for position, Kate devotees made no apologies about their quests. FIT freshman Taylor Kentz Googled the Duchess’ itinerary and cut class to see her “number-one fashion influence” (and the subject of many of her school projects.) A self-described “huge Kate Middleton fan,” Kentz said she started following Middleton “as much as she can in all the magazines” when the royal engagement was announced. Not new to the chase, the student saw the Duchess do her famous wave once before in LA at the BAFTAS. Kentz but held little hope of having a word, “Last time she just waved and walked in. But I really admire her style — just the whole princess-going-into-the-queen evolution and watching her do the baby bump.”
Nearby two North Carolinas residents Carol Pollock and Claudia Weisener insisted their eight-hour drive to Gotham was time well spent. “We are so close. Hardly anyone is here. This is the same lady police officer they had yesterday…We have to get a better picture,” Pollock said.
Ohio resident Nancy Nichols packed up her granddaughters Lauren and Lindsey for a Kate-seeking four-day stay in New York. The grandmother layered up a bright green North Face anorak with a barley-colored Mohair blanket that she bought in between Kate sightings at TJ Maxx. The trio also caught up with the Duchess when she did a philanthropic meet-and-greet at a London school last summer. “Lauren knows her every move,” Nichols said.
And apparently so does the Duchess’ security detail because almost on cue, one dapperly dressed Brit with a Secret Service-like earpiece toyfully asked the teenager, “Do you know where she’s going next?” He also used his smartphone to show the young Nichols an online news photo of her Union Jack hat-wearing self taken at Kate’s stop earlier that day in Harlem. Like many in the crowd, the younger Pollocks were most concerned about their photo-ops. When a member of the Duchess’ security team stepped into her view, Lindsey Pollock alerted her grandmother who said assuringly, “What honey? Yeah, they’ll move. You just have to yell at them in a British accent.”
London expat Katherine Dryden, who moved to East 51st Street 47 years ago, noted that she is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. But the New Yorker was excited to see the future queen “I love that she’s natural. She hasn’t got all this ludicrous blah, blah, blah. She’s very bright and she’s not going to let the Royal family tell her how to raise her children.” she said. “I also liked that Kate wears a lot of young designers. Also, she’s with it — she’s absolutely with it.”