Archive for Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hollywood’s newest stars: Will and Kate

July 9, 2011

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— Bathed in sunshine and under clear blue skies, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived Friday in Southern California’s vacation playground. But within minutes of touching down, they were whisked off to work.

The royal couple had tacked on a quick visit to Los Angeles following a nine-day tour of Canada, their first foreign trip since marrying in April.

Aside from a game of polo in the seaside city of Santa Barbara, much of the couple’s three-day visit will focus on business and not pleasure. Instead of trips to the Hollywood sign or Malibu’s beaches, their itinerary includes some hefty fundraising for good causes, promoting U.S. investment in Britain and charitable work.

The newlyweds landed shortly before 4 p.m. in a Canadian military jet. The former Kate Middleton, who left Canada in a red satin and wool scarlet coat-dress by Catherine Walker, changed aboard the flight and emerged wearing a light-gray, knee-length dress with asymmetric draping at the shoulder. William wore a navy blue suit with a purple tie.

Their arrival was a lower-key affair compared to the largely rapturous welcomes they received as they crisscrossed Canada. A small group of officials including California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Britain’s ambassador the U.S., Sir Nigel Sheinwald, greeted the couple at the airport.

They climbed into a black Range Rover and headed for their first event, a technology summit in Beverly Hills aimed at promoting U.S. investment in British tech firms.

Zoomed along by a California Highway Patrol motorcade, the duke and duchess avoided rush-hour traffic on the 12-mile route by staying off the ever-clogged west Los Angeles freeways.

The summit was set up to generate support for Tech City, London’s answer to Silicon Valley. The area around the trendy Old Street part of east London is quickly becoming a hub for technology and software firms.

Though Prince William has been to America before, it is Kate’s first trip to the U.S. William’s late mother, Princess Diana, who would have turned 50 this month, charmed Americans when she visited in the 1980s.

Authorities have put the paparazzi, known for their cutthroat tactics, on notice that aggressive actions will not be tolerated.

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