NBA star LeBron James breaks protocol, puts arm around Kate Middleton

  In a breach of royal protocol, basketball legend LeBron James put his arm around Prince William's wife Kate while posing for photographs here.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 09, 2014, 17:53 PM IST
NBA star LeBron James breaks protocol, puts arm around Kate Middleton

New York:  In a breach of royal protocol, basketball legend LeBron James put his arm around Prince William's wife Kate while posing for photographs here.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are on three-day US trip, met James after watching a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center indoor arena.

Prince William and Kate were also presented with NBA jerseys, including a small one for their young son, Prince George.

While posing for photographs last night, James appeared to surprise Kate by breaking royal protocol and placing his arm around her.

The breach of protocol echoed the time when Michelle Obama caused a stir by putting her arm around the Queen in 2009. The royals are on their first official trip to the US since 2011.Their schedule for their three-day trip also includes a visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, a visit to showcase arts education at a youth organisation, and a black-tie fundraiser for their alma mater, the University of St Andrews.

Earlier, James treated them to a breathtaking display of brilliance as he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their seventh win in a row. Rapper Jay-Z and superstar wife Beyonce were seen chatting with the royals during the interval.

The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and double Olympian James met the royal couple at the end of the match.

"I gave them a shirt and thanked them for coming here to America to watch our game," James said.

"It was their first time watching a basketball game. It was an honour that I would be the guy that they decided to watch," he said. He was so honoured that he even gave them cupcakes

Prince William and Kate took their seats next to the home team's bench midway through the third quarter. The capacity crowd stood up, but the Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers kept right on playing.

During the stoppage between the third and fourth quarters, Jay and Beyonce crossed the hardwood to introduce themselves to Wills and Kate. They chatted for about three minutes, as the fans cheered, and then sat down for the final quarter, when things went from bad to worse for the Nets.

Kate's day began among local youngsters, in a visit to a Harlem children's center, where the Duchess showed she had the common touch  and displayed some uncommon gift-wrapping skills.