Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Tickets for the high-profile gala dinner, and the chance to rub shoulders with the young royals, are selling for up to $100,000 Toby Melville/Reuters

Wealthy Americans are paying up to $100,000 (£64,000) to dine with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in a New York museum.

The dinner – expected to be attended by 450 guests – will take place in the Metropolitan Museum of Art next month and could raise more than £1.5m for St Andrews University – the alma mater of both Kate and William.

All proceeds of the invitation-only event on 9 December will go to the Scottish university. A guard of honour of St Andrews alumni wearing the university's distinctive red gowns will be formed on the steps of the museum for the arrival of the royals.

A drinks reception will then be held in the museum's Great Hall before dinner is served in the Temple of Dendur, an Egyptian monument.

Manhattan socialites are clamouring for the few remaining tickets of the almost-sold out event. But to be in with a chance of actually brushing shoulders with the Duke and Duchess, attendees must cough up $100,000 to buy a VIP table for 10 people.

The dinner is part of a mini tour undertaken by Kate and William during their stay in the US. The day before, the duke will attend a conference at the World Bank in Washington as part of his campaign to clamp down on the illegal ivory trade.

The duchess will tour a school for disadvantaged children with the wife of New York's mayor Bill de Blasio, Chirlane McCray.

Although St Andrews is ranked as one of Britain's best universities, and scores in the top 1% globally, it lacks the financial backing of its international peers. The gala dinner is intended to increase donations to the university and raise its profile.

"Our endowment is tiny. It's £50m. It's dwarfed by the endowments and spending power of those who are just above us in the league tables", a spokesperson told The Sunday Times.