The people of Boston are not impressed with the visit of Prince William and Princess Kate

BOSTON — Crowds had gathered in a rain-swept City Hall Plaza to welcome Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales, the photogenic royals who arrived Wednesday for a whirlwind three-day tour.

So were diners excited about visiting two miles from Santarpio’s, a bare-bones bar and pizzeria and an East Boston institution?

“Not yet,” said a bartender drily as he delivered crispy pizzas and plates of steaming sausage to a row of diners on Wednesday night, his expression suggesting the likelihood of a fuss was pretty slim.

While breathless online commentary tracked the royal couple’s every move and designer wardrobe change for a global audience of devoted palace watchers, the low-key parts of their host city remained unimpressed, if not completely unaware of their presence.

At a Dunkin’ in the diverse Dorchester neighborhood on Thursday, a woman waiting for her order in a fluffy winter coat, hood up, declined to speak to a reporter, then asked what the story was about.

Informed of the topic, she shook her head sharply.

“I don’t care,” she said.

The city’s history helps explain its deep veins of indifference, said Brooke Barbier, a historian who also offers guided tours of Boston. Because its identity is so rooted in the American Revolution and the rejection of monarchy, and because its landscape is still dotted with vivid reminders of that past, “it makes sense that, even centuries later, Boston wouldn’t care about the monarchy,” she said. “Even if they secretly care.”

Commuters pass the site of the Boston Massacre on their way to the subway (the place where it happened, then King Street, was later renamed); at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, actors routinely reenact the colonists’ famous 1773 protest against British taxation.

Fans of the first Boston Celtics appeared to channel the remnants of that courage Wednesday night, when William and Kate attended a game at TD Garden alongside city officials and were He was reportedly greeted with scattered chants of “USA! USA!” amid louder cheers as their faces were shown on a giant screen.

Asked after the game about the thrill of playing in front of royalty, Celtics star Jaylen Brown, a Georgia native, did not hide his disinterest.

“It was a regular game for me,” he said.

Some Bostonians said they could not tolerate the Royals because of allegations of racism among some members and associates, including new report this week of racist comments from Prince William’s godmother.

“I can’t talk about them because I’ll get angry,” said a woman rushing to catch a train in Dorchester on Thursday, referring to reports that the royal family abused Meghan Markle, William and Kate’s daughter-in-law, who is biracial.

At a ceremony to welcome the couple on Wednesday, a city official, the Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, make a point to call “a legacy of colonialism and racism” associated with the monarchy.

In true Boston style, traffic was also a drag, with many locals dreading the prospect of more disruptions and delays caused by the royal entourage and security. In neighboring Somerville, where the prince and princess planned to visit an eco-startup incubator, some took to Twitter to complain about the potential impact on their grocery shopping. calling it a “bad day for a market basket” a reference to a favorite local grocery chain.

Still, many noted with approval the higher purpose of the royal visit. On Friday evening, William and Kate planned to announce the winners of the Earthshot Award, the award they created to promote work targeting climate change. The project was inspired by John F. Kennedy’s “moonshot” challenge of the 1960s, which promised to send Americans to the moon within the decade—a connection that inspired Boston’s selection as the first American city to host the glamorous awards ceremony to be held at the venue next to Fenway Park.

Also on Friday, William visited the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester for a tour and meeting with President Biden, part of the prince’s itinerary that earned him grudging recognition from some locals.

“They seem to have done their homework and are referring to things that concern Bostonians,” said Ann Walsh, a lifelong Dorchester resident. “I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them, but they are really adorable.”

However, she considered the visit “no big deal” and said she would be offended by any excessive show of respect for royalty: “This is America and I think it’s an important part of who we are, that I don’t deify people .”

At the legendary Eire pub in Dorchester, where news of the royals flashed on televisions above the bar, Johnny Curran, a longtime barman, said he had heard no talk of the visit.

“I said to my wife this morning, ‘I put my pants on the same way he does – why is he so special?'” one patron, Kevin Healy, said of the prince.

Nests of enthusiasm can be found. The Subway sandwich shop on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester, near the JFK Museum, was one.

“People are pretty excited,” said Michelle Maduka, an employee who attends school at the nearby Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts.

Excited to be close to royalty? Well, no.

“There will definitely be a lot of traffic and the last time Biden came, some hours were cancelled,” Ms Maduka said.

His colleague, Daniel Eke, said he would not mind meeting the prince. Mr. Eke would not be working on Friday, but he had begun to wonder if he should.

“If you can tell me they’re coming here — like, they like Subway and they’re coming to Morrissey Boulevard — then I’ll pick up on Friday,” he said.

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