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Royal fever builds as William and Kate arrive in New York

By Tony Jones

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge landed with a bump in New York last night for a much-anticipated three-day visit that has generated incredible excitement among New Yorkers.

William will begin his American tour by branding the illegal wildlife trade as one of the most "insidious forms of corruption" in the world.

Kate - who is who is five months pregnant - wore a purple coat by British maternity label Seraphine as the couple entered the luxury Carlyle Hotel, where rooms can cost £9,000 a night. Baby Prince George remains at home.

The second in line to the throne has been campaigning to save threatened animals for a number of years and will tell delegates at a Washington conference today how some animal parts are worth more then their weight in gold.

The royal couple have a varied itinerary that will see the Duke meet US president Barack Obama, the Cambridges rub shoulders with celebrities at an NBA basketball match and the Duchess visit a Harlem-based organisation supporting families.

They will also pay their respects to the thousands who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks by visiting the World Trade Centre's Memorial and Museum. They also host a private charity dinner for a small number of wealthy guests which is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The royal visit has already captured the imagination of New Yorkers said Danny Lopez, British consul general, New York. Describing the atmosphere since the visit was announced he said "over the last few weeks there has been incredible interest" and a huge "level of excitement" from people who want to support or be a part of the royal engagements.

William is passionate about trying to preserve the planet's most endangered animals and habitats and founded the umbrella organisation United for Wildlife .

At the World Bank Group's International Corruption Hunters Alliance Conference the Duke is expected to describe the trade in elephants tusks and rhino horns as "one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today".

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