LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hollywood royalty mingled with the real thing as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent a sun-splashed day on the polo fields of Santa Barbara County followed by a diamond-studded night amid movie glitterati at the midpoint of their tour of California.
Prince William wowed the crowd with four goals at his charity polo match then he and the former Kate Middleton headed by helicopter to downtown Los Angeles for a black-tie film industry event that drew Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand, Jack Black and Jennifer Lopez, among many others.
On Sunday, the royal pair will go from the ritzy to the gritty _ the royal couple will watch a dance at a nonprofit academy in the Skid Row area of downtown.
“There’s so much compassion in both of them,” said Los Angeles resident and royal-watcher Christian Kang. “I know they’re going to Skid Row, and I think that’s very good to see from someone in his position.”
They’re also slated to attend a job fair for U.S. servicemen and women transitioning to civilian life.
Saturday night’s soiree at the restored 1920s-era Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles was organized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, of which William is president, to promote up-and-coming British talent in the industry.
The duchess wore a flowing lilac dress with white waistband by Alexander McQueen. Fans cheered as they strode a red carpet and the couple responded by walking over and shaking a few hands.
“Before I start, I’d just like to thank Colin Firth for my opening line: I have a voice,” William quipped in brief remarks to the star-studded audience, referring to Firth’s role as King George VI in the acclaimed film “The King’s Speech.”
The guests included executives of major studios and entertainment companies along with such luminaries as James Gandolfini, Don Cheadle, Blake Lively and Kristin Chenoweth.
Earlier, up the coast at Carpinteria near Santa Barbara, William’s four goals led his team to a win in the overall polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.
“My father, the Prince of Wales, and my brother, Harry, were as green as that grass outside when I told them I’d be here today,” William told a reception where guests sipped champagne and whiskey. “Catherine and I have had a busy few days _ so the prospect of being able to let loose this afternoon is wonderful for me.”
After William’s win, the crowd rushed onto the field despite an announcer’s pleas for them to return their seats, and finally security used a line of rope to push them back. And a fight nearly erupted between a photographer and an aggressive spectator jostling for a look at the couple.
After decorum was restored Middleton, presented each competitor a blue Tiffany & Co. box with a white ribbon, and a big silver trophy to her husband’s team, and gave William a kiss on each cheek when egged on by the crowd.
William wore a white shirt and trousers with a blue blazer while his wife sported a silver and marble-gray hand-painted silk dress by British designer Jenny Packham.
The cheap seats cost $400, while anyone paying $4,000 for a VIP ticket got a chance to hobnob with William and his bride.