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Somerville, Massachusetts met news of a royal visit with outrage over reduced access to a local grocery store

Somerville residents were mostly worried it'd be hard to get to Market Basket during William and Kate's visit to the city

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Prince William attempts to replicate a human smile while visiting Somerville with Princess Kate.
Prince William attempts to replicate a human smile while visiting Somerville with Princess Kate.
Photo: Pool (Getty Images)

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, there was a brief moment in time when it seemed like everyone actually really did like the British royal family. Since then, King Charles being himself and the monarchy’s continued inability to hide its racism has helped put things back in perspective, helpfully reminding people around the globe that the monarchy is terrible.

Consider, for instance, that a royal visit to Somerville, Massachusetts was met by the city’s residents not with awed reverence and widespread excitement, but with outrage over how Prince William and Princess Kate’s stop would make traffic surrounding Market Basket, a local grocery store, a nightmare.

The Boston Globe’s Spencer Buell wrote on Wednesday evening that “not all Somerville residents are excited” about the couple’s visit. William and Kate were in the area to visit Greentown Labs, a climate-focused startup incubator, which is “just a few doors down” from Market Basket. This, along with accompanying road closures, “left locals fearful that traffic would be snarled on side streets and their beloved Market Basket would be inaccessible.”

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Buell checked in on a Somerville Reddit to find residents commenting on news of the royal visit with stuff like, “Bunch of freeloaders. Get a real job!” and, “I have shit to do on Thursday. Can these fucking grifters just not?”

City Councilor Jefferson Thomas Scott was quoted as saying that “news of the visit—and the accompanying road closures—caught him off guard.” He tweeted that he wasn’t informed of the disruption “until I read it in the press,” and that he “didn’t invite these people” in the first place.

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Despite this not-too-warm welcome, William and Kate appear to have emerged from the city—and a potential renewal of Revolutionary War hostilities—unscathed. They’ve now continued on their way, left Somerville of their own free will, and somehow avoided being thrown into the harbor in the process. That they were booed at a Celtics game seems, in comparison, like they got off lightly.

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