Even the Royals aren’t immune to New York City traffic. Tuesday’s steady downpour put the royal itinerary off track — if only by 45 minutes. Following a tour of The Door, a nonprofit organization in Soho, the duo, along with a full motorcade, made their way to central Manhattan for a reception celebrating British creative talent, held at Neuehouse. The pair was accepted to arrive for a 12:15p.m. start time, but the waiting crowd — a handful of shivering photographers and a pair of twentysomethings on their lunch break — was informed by a British handler that they were running slightly behind schedule. One of the lunch breakers nervously checked her watch. “My boss is going to wonder where I am,” she said. “But I just love them so much…”
Around 12:45p.m., NYPD began to set up barricades around the perimeter, alerting photographers to get into position, as well as drawing another dozen or so passersby to stop. “Is there a movie star coming?” several asked. Nope, just the potential future king of England. (The amount of shrugs in response suggested that someone along the lines of Julia Roberts or Channing Tatum would’ve drawn a bigger crowd).
At last, a parade of black SUVs pulled down the otherwise blocked off street. Police officers surrounded the space’s main entrance as a car pulled up. Professional cameras and iPhones alike focused as the backseat doors opened to reveal…. non-royals.
Kate and William were, in fact, in the car directly behind the one in the line of focus. Swiftly, and surrounded by a group of bodyguards, the couple — Kate still wearing the bright pink Mulberry coat she’d worn earlier in the day over a $99 black turtleneck dress from Seraphine — entered through a previously unnoticed side door. Annoyed photographers speculated about whether the barricades had been a strategized decoy, or if the royals had simply opted for the closest door. “Whatever it was, I was not expecting that,” one said, packing up his equipment. On to the next royal engagement.
Inside, the couple toured the space, which houses a private work collective for those within the creative fields. Additional guests of the reception included NeueHouse founders Joshua Abram and Alan Murray, as well as Nima Abbasi of Crest & Co., Glenda Bailey, Georgina Chapman and Harvey Weinstein, Peter Copping, Alexander Gilkes and Misha Nonoo, Imogen Lloyd-Webber, Jenna Lyons, actress Archie Panjabi and Stuart Vevers. The event also served as an announcement for Neuehouse’s third location in — where else — London. The location, within the capital’s historic Adelphi Building, is expected to open in late 2015.