WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince William found a willing audience at the White House on Monday, covering topics with President Barack Obama from the illegal wildlife trade to the birth of a baby named Prince George.
The Duke of Cambridge, breaking away from his pregnant wife Kate briefly after they arrived in New York on Sunday for a three-day visit, was spirited into a side entrance of the West Wing for talks with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and for a tour of the White House.
In the Oval Office, Obama and William were seen chatting amiably in what White House spokesman Josh Earnest said was a discussion about the long and special relationship between the United States and Britain.
A television boom mic picked up more granular details of the talks.
William was overheard telling Obama about the birth 17 months ago of Prince George. Kate is due to give birth to a second child in April.
“When George was born I forgot to actually work out whether it was a boy or girl, the excitement of the event and everything else was just chaos,” William said. “It’s going to be an interesting next year, busy next year.”
Obama, who on Saturday went to a military hospital to be examined for a sore throat, said of himself: “I‘m fine, I was completely fine.”
William came to Washington to deliver an address at the World Bank about the illegal wildlife trade. In that speech, he said criminal gangs turn vast profits from the illegal killing or capture of wildlife and that armed groups and terrorists swap poached ivory for guns.
“Together they loot our planet to feed mankind’s ignorant craving for exotic pets, trinkets, cures and ornaments derived from the world’s vanishing and irreplaceable species,” he said.
William also briefed the president on his initiative to combat the illegal wildlife trade, which Earnest said is “an issue to which the president and this administration are strongly committed.”
Also, he discussed with Biden various challenges such as the effort to degrade and ultimately destroy Islamic State.
Later in the day William returned to New York to take in a National Basketball Association game between the Brooklyn Nets and the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I know that the president is certainly envious of the prince’s opportunity to take in a game,” Earnest said.
Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Beech and Leslie Adler