Boston

The Time I Flew Coach With Prince William

I watched as Prince William climbed the stairs straight from the tarmac. "Could it be?" I wondered. "Was he really about to board my flight to Dallas?"

NBC Universal, Inc.

William, the Prince of Wales, is arriving in Boston Wednesday on his first visit to the United States in eight years. Reporter Eli Rosenberg will be covering the royal visit, but it's not his first brush with the heir to the British throne. Here's his story from that day:

The first sign something was different was the fleet of black SUVs that pulled up to the plane I was about to take.

STAY IN THE KNOW

icon

Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.

icon

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

It was May 4, 2014, and I was at Memphis International Airport preparing to board an afternoon American Airlines flight to Dallas. 

As I watched from the gate, the black SUVs parked and out got one tall, recognizable figure in blue jeans and a button-down shirt.

I knew instantly who it was.

At the time, I was working as a reporter at a TV station in Memphis and had spent the weekend tracing Prince William and Harry's every move as they attended the Memphis wedding of their friend, Guy Pelly. Their time in Memphis had generated huge crowds and a ton of buzz as they moved about the city.

A royal expert weighs in on the proper etiquette if you happen to meet the Prince and Princess during their trip to Boston this week.

I watched as Prince William climbed the stairs straight from the tarmac.

"Could it be?" I wondered. "Was he really about to board my flight to Dallas?"

Ever the reporter, I boarded the flight with the camera on my phone ready — after a weekend trying to document his every move, one last note before he left Memphis.

Royal Family Photos

As I boarded, though, Prince William wasn't sitting in first class. He was nowhere. 

Then, right before takeoff, he walked onto the flight and sat down in the window seat in the first row of coach! I couldn't believe it. Prince William flies coach? 

The now-Prince of Wales was accompanied by several security guards, who sat in the same row as him and filled the row behind him. At the time, most of the plane had no idea what had just happened.

Prince William arriving at a flight in Memphis and on board the plane in May 2014.
Eli Rosenberg
Prince William arriving at a flight in Memphis and on board the plane in May 2014.
Prince William boarding a plane in Memphis in 2014 for a flight to Dallas in coach.
Eli Rosenberg
Prince William boarding a plane in Memphis in 2014 for a flight to Dallas in coach.
Prince William in an airport on a trip from Memphis to Dallas in 2014.
Eli Rosenberg
Prince William in an airport on a trip from Memphis to Dallas in 2014.

The flight was uneventful, and when we arrived in Dallas, William was whisked away first. After I landed, I turned back to see an airport side door open and William and his entourage walking through DFW. 

And that is how I once flew coach with Prince William.

Contact Us