As Boston is ready to welcome the British royal family, AAA Northeast is warning commuters who might have a difficult time due to the visit.
Prince William and Princess Catherine landed at Boston Logan International Airport shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday, where they were greeted by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Next, they are set to appear at a welcome event at City Hall Plaza, where Boston Mayor Michelle Wu will meet with the royal couple.
The royal couple’s itinerary also includes stops in Somerville, Cambridge and Chelsea.
PHOTOS: William, Kate Make a Royal Visit to Boston
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President Joe Biden is also scheduled to arrive in Boston to attend a political fundraising event, adding to the potential for significant traffic disruptions and road closures.
AAA is recommending people use the T to get in and out of the city since drivers are likely to see street closures and reduced parking due to the visit.
There will also be heavy rain and high winds Wednesday into Thursday which will make commuting into the city even more difficult.
There is a possibility that additional stops will be added during the visit.
The head of MassDOT said they have experience with visits from foreign dignitaries but cannot disclose their travel route.
The royals are in town for the Earthshot Prize Awards, and have a string of appearances scheduled ahead of the star-studded award ceremony on Friday.
Boston Welcomes Royalty
The newly revamped City Hall Plaza will be showcased Wednesday, when the prince, mayor and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy speak to the crowds from the new Speaker’s Corner on the plaza.
A tent has been set up due to the rain that's expected in the afternoon.
With the inclement weather, city officials said it’s hard to say how many people will show up to try to get a glimpse of Prince William and Princess Catherine during their first engagement in Boston. However, they guess it could be in the thousands.
At around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, they will be kicking off the Earthshot celebrations, counting down to the Earthshot Prize Awards Friday, and lighting up City Hall and other landmarks across the city in green.
“I think this is an opportunity to showcase Boston to the rest of the world, showing that we’re moving the needle in terms of the environment," Commissioner of Property Management for the City of Boston Eamon Shelton said.
Thursday, the royals will be visiting Greentown Labs and Roca Inc.
On Friday, Will and Kate will be spending time at The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard and the JFK Library – before wrapping up their visit to Boston with a star-studded Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony at the MGM Music Hall.
City officials and the Consul General to New England said the excitement for the royal visit is palpable.
“I think the excitement levels are pretty high, actually, judging by the reaction on social media and some of the folks that I talked to around Boston," Consul General to New England Peter Abbott said. "Everyone is thrilled and honored as well that the Prince and Princess of Wales would be visiting Boston for the second annual Earthshot Awards, so the excitement levels are high."
What Are the Earthshot Awards?
The Earthshot prize was founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in 2020. It was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to America to land a man on the moon by that decade’s end, and aims to “discover and scale the best solutions to help repair our planet within the next decade,” according to a release.
Earthshot offers 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) in prize money to the winners of five separate categories: nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination and climate change. The winners and all 15 finalists also receive help in expanding their projects to meet global demand.
The winners will be announced Friday at Boston’s MGM Music Hall as part of a glitzy show headlined by numerous celebrities. The ceremony will be broadcast Sunday on the BBC in the U.K., PBS in the U.S. and Multichoice across Africa.
Hollywood Royalty in Boston
The Prince and Princess won't be the only royalty in The Hub come Friday.
The awards show will be co-hosted by actor Daniel Dae Kim and British TV presenter Clara Amfo. Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek will be presenting one of the awards, along with Princess Catherine and other stars.
Performers include popstar Billie Eilish, her brother Finneas, Annie Lennox, Chloe x Halle and Ellie Goulding.
Sir David Attenborough, the naturalist and documentary filmmaker behind shows like "Planet Earth," will appear in the ceremony, and Prince William will give a speech closing out the show.
Prince and Princess to Visit Roca Inc.
The royal couple will also be making their way to Chelsea during their visit, where they will see up close the way one organization uses brain science to help at-risk youth.
Roca Inc. focuses on teens and young adults at the center of violence. They collaborate with police, judges, child protective services and other stakeholders to reduce trauma, violence and incarceration. At the same time, the group works to find youth sustainable employment.
Roca's founder said that despite months of preparation for the royal visit, she's overwhelmed with excitement about the attention this will bring their mission.
"It’s just a huge gift that will elevate the work," Roca CEO and Founder Molly Baldwin said. "There are young people who struggle to connect with the resources we have in this country and we are so honored."
The Prince and Princess will meet with leaders of Roca and spend time with women in the young mothers program on Thursday.
As for Wednesday's event at City Hall Plaza, which is open to the public, Boston city officials have advised that people try to take public transportation. While streets won't be specifically shut down, some may be temporarily blocked off and a lot of the area will have no parking beginning at 7 a.m.