NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, laid flowers Tuesday at one of New York City’s most somber sites — the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Later Tuesday night, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a fundraising gala.

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The couple crossed the 9/11 memorial plaza during the day in pouring rain and wind, William holding an umbrella. Wearing a hot-pink, double-breasted Mulberry coat, black tights, and black stiletto-heeled pumps, Kate smiled as she spoke with memorial and museum President Joe Daniels. The royals then laid a bouquet at one of two reflecting pools built in the footprints of the fallen towers.

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Each is ringed with the chiseled names of the nearly 2,900 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The flowers included a handwritten note reading, “in sorrowful memory for those who died on 11 September and in admiration of the courage shown to rebuild,” CBS2 Scott Rapoport reported.

After paying their respects at the southern pool, William and Kate entered the underground museum that commemorates the attacks.

During their half-hour visit, they descended to the bedrock level that houses exhibits.

Escorted by Daniels and museum director Alice Greenwald, the royals passed two trident-shaped columns preserved from the facade of the fallen north tower and the battered “survivors’ staircase” that hundreds used to escape on 9/11.

The duke and duchess also entered the Memorial Hall, a space between the former twin towers’ footprints with a wall of blue tiles representing all the 9/11 victims, plus those who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Behind the wall lies a repository of unidentified Sept. 11 remains.

The nearby “In Memoriam” exhibition has profiles of the victims. Visitors can leave a message or signature with a stylus on an electronic tablet. Kate and William both signed, writing “Catherine” and “William” in script.

Museum chief of staff Allison Blais said the duchess “talked about how in awe she was of the enormity of the space; it was something she didn’t anticipate.”

Blais said Kate also spoke about how moving the memorial was and being able to touch the names of the victims.

Before leaving the 9/11 site, the couple admired the massive, marble-clad lobby of 1 World Trade Center, graced by a large Christmas tree. The recently completed 104-floor skyscraper is the nation’s tallest building.

A handful of onlookers braved the wet weather for a glimpse of the royals.

“I love them so much,” said Kristina Crossan, a 24-year-old teacher from Middletown, New Jersey. Her mother, Marianne Crossan, called the rain “a small price to pay.”

Another New Jersey resident, Krupa Shah, took the day off from her Manhattan finance job.

“I took the day off work when they got married. I didn’t go to a family event when Kate was in labor, because I wanted to know what she had,” Shah said. “Family will always be there, but there’s only one time that Kate has her first baby.”

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The morning visit to the site where 67 British citizens died — the most of any foreign country — came on the last day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s three-day trip. Their visit to New York and his to Washington was the first time either of them has visited those cities.

Afterward, the royal couple visited The Door, an organization in lower Manhattan that promotes youth development and social learning, particularly in intellectual and artistic endeavors.

They sat front row for a performance and Prince William received a treat from one of the kids. After giving it a quick, playful sniff, he decided to try it, Rapoport reported.

Prince William also enjoyed a royal welcome at the Empire State Building, where he met with Mayor Bill de Blasio before attending an event to promote tech businesses.

The royal couple also attended the Creativity is GREAT reception at the Neuehouse on East 25th Street, along with Patrick Stewart and other celebrities.

And on Tuesday evening, William and Kate headed to the Met Museum for a black-tie fundraiser for the University of St. Andrews, where they both got their degrees.

As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, it was the moment many fans had been waiting for – with Kate in a long evening gown and William in a tuxedo. It was to be the final glimpse of the royal couple for New Yorkers.

“I canceled all my plans for today just to come here,” said royal fan Sonya Koh.

“They’re fantastic,” added royal fan Debra Rutiba. “They’re gorgeous, first of all, but they also have big hearts.”

On Monday, William met with President Barack Obama at the White House and spoke at a World Bank conference. Kate and New York City first lady Chirlane McCray met with families and toured Harlem’s Northside Center for Child Development, which offers mental health and educational services.

On Monday evening, the couple attended a reception at the British consul general’s residence co-hosted by the Royal Foundation and the Clinton Foundation. When they arrived, they spent some time talking with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky.

William and Kate then headed to the Barclays Center to watch a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jay-Z and Beyonce were led across the court between the third and fourth quarters to chat with them, and LeBron James gave them cupcakes and some Cavaliers jerseys.

The duchess is “such a good person to look up to, so it’s just like an honor to be in the same building as her,” said Rosalie Mumford, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

The couple met NBA executives and former player Dikembe Mutombo, marking a collaboration that would help raise awareness about animal trafficking.

Next to the 7-foot-2 Mutombo, William said, “At last I’m standing next to someone who is taller than me.”

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