Prince William and Princess Catherine's highly anticipated visit to the United States is receiving mixed reviews. On the positive side, during a meet-and-greet in Boston, the Prince of Wales made a royal fan's day by talking to her mother via cell phone. 

"He said, 'Hello, Mallory!' I couldn't believe he actually did that. It was so great!" Alex Cross, a local resident, told People. "I think William and Kate are just such an awesome example of our generation — Millennials, Gen X and the changing world — and they care so much for the planet," she continued, referencing the Waleses' key reason for the trip: handing out this year's Earthshot Prize on Dec. 2.

When Tyler Washburn, a legislative aide from Maine, watched the Prince and Princess of Wales arrive, he described them to The New York Times as "a living symbol of the monarchy's evolution from the past."

On the more challenging side, the royals were already dealing with PR difficulties shortly before they arrived in Boston: William's godmother, longtime lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey, resigned from her palace duties after making controversial comments. In addition, William and Kate were unexpectedly booed by Boston Celtics fans when they appeared on the big screen during a game.

Given that the Waleses are in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's country of residence, the tour has also provided new opportunities to discuss the ongoing rift between the brothers and their spouses, including recent accusations that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are stealing the spotlight.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Netflix trailer dropped in the middle of the Wales' visit

On Dec. 1, royal fans were treated to a sneak peek at Netflix's upcoming documentary "Harry and Meghan." Journalist and author Omid Scobie tweeted the trailer, drawing a comparison between brothers Prince William and Prince Harry, commenting, "If tomorrow is Prince William's Super Bowl, then here's your Halftime Show..." 

According to Page Six, sources deemed the release as a "coordinated campaign" to intentionally take attention away from the Prince and Princess of Wales during their US tour.

Royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti agreed. "It just shows how much they will go to any end at all for as much publicity as possible. They will jump on his own brother's trip to promote these environmental prizes in order to steal that limelight and get more attention," he told Us Weekly.

In addition, The Telegraph pointed out that, amid the trailer's photos of Harry and Meghan, there's only one picture of William and Catherine — and it's not a very flattering one. Taken at the 2020 Commonwealth Day service, the Princess of Wales gazes sternly at the camera.

Prince William and Princess Catherine are said to be taking things in stride

While sources agree that the timing of the "Harry and Meghan" trailer was intentional, it's possible that the release date wasn't Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision. Page Six reported that Netflix executives chose the trailer's release date. Sources told the outlet that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted it to drop Nov. 28, before the Waleses' US arrival.

Regardless, The Times reported that Prince William and Princess Catherine are apparently taking the situation in stride. Speaking to the outlet, a source noted the distinct difference between the two couples. "[Harry and Meghan] are two people who are accepting awards for themselves, talking about themselves, doing programmes about themselves," they noted. "[William and Kate are] active members of the royal family who have a job to shine a spotlight on other people, give awards to other people. That's the contrast."

Prior to the trip, The Telegraph wrote that William was determined to stay committed to the trip's agenda and tune out any drama. "Our number focus next week is the Earthshot Prize and we won't be distracted by other things," a source said.

Eric Schiffer, a California PR expert, sees the trip as a strategic way for the Waleses to control the royal narrative. "They want to take back some of the attention and rightful role that they deserve and that has been kind of usurped by the public relations machinations of Meghan and Harry," Schiffer told Express.

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