- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - On their U.S. visit, Prince William and his wife, Kate, stepped back from their royal roles, mingling with commoners and not relying on their entourage for everything.

Here’s a quick look at some moments reflecting a different, more down-to-earth breed of British nobility.



Braving a pouring rain and strong wind, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge each held their own black umbrella as they walked from their motorcade to the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.

At the museum, they signed an electronic tablet for visitors by writing simply “William” and “Catherine” - minus any title.



Heading for a White House meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday, William stunned passengers on a U.S. Airways flight from New York as he entered the plane cabin.

The royals also took a commercial flight to New York from London on Sunday, and they’re expected to do the same on their return trip.



Like many a dad, William remarked that his 17-month-old son, Prince George, loves playing iPad games, according to guest Ayah Bdeir, a technology entrepreneur who spoke with the prince at an innovation-focused reception at the offices of Shutterstock, an online stock photography, music and video provider.



On Monday, they watched the Brooklyn Nets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center - from courtside seats, surrounded by New York sports fans in close proximity.

An heir to the British throne, wearing an open-collar plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves, paid homage to “King James” - LeBron James. And Kate smiled when the sweaty star athlete wrapped his arm around her after the game. While some etiquette experts decried the gesture as a breach of protocol, a royal aide said that there are no rules against it and that members of the royal family want people to feel as comfortable as possible when meeting them - and they were delighted to meet James.

The two men also compared their respective shoe sizes, with William noting that James’ feet were about twice as big as the prince’s.



Also at Monday’s Nets game, Jay-Z and Beyonce were led across the court between the third and fourth quarters to chat with William and Kate. Jay-Z is a former part-owner of the Nets and has kept his courtside seats near their bench since selling his stake.

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