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Carolyn Sesvold flew in from Chicago to attend the match, buying a brown-and-white polka-dotted dress, hat and gloves inspired by the outfit Julia Roberts wore to the polo match in the movie “Pretty Woman.”

Sesvold, a royals fan, also came to watch a family friend who paid about $50,000 to play against William in the polo game. Those playing on the same team as the duke paid twice that, she said.

Cheryl Reyes, who works in an office in Orange County, bought her $400 ticket as soon as she heard the royal couple would be coming to Santa Barbara. Standing across the field nibbling on a sandwich and drinking a flute of juice, she worried about whether she’d be able to see the duchess.

“I wanted to see Princess Catherine,” she said. “There’s just something magical about being a commoner and ending with a prince. She’s the one I want to see.”

Both Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry, regularly play polo during the summer months. Their love for the sport comes from their father, Prince Charles, who played polo for 40 years before stopping in 2005. Prince Charles broke his right arm during a fall from his horse during a 1990 match, among several polo-related injuries.

Actress Rosario Dawson complimented Kate’s fashion sense, calling her style effortless and elegant.

“I think Catherine seems very in her body,” Dawson said. “She seems very clear about who she is. She doesn’t dress too old, she doesn’t dress too young.”

The duke and duchess arrived in California on Friday after a nine-day trip to Canada, their first foreign excursion since getting married in April.

Actor Billy Zane said he was pleased that they visited Southern California after their wedding. “It’s nice to be able to host them here,” he said. “I’m thrilled they showed up so soon.”

William and Kate’s arrival in California has been a lower-key affair compared to the largely rapturous welcomes they received as they crisscrossed Canada, though small crowds of royal watchers waving British and American flags congregated outside the British consul general’s home in Hancock Park and elsewhere.

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.


Schwartz reported from Carpinteria, Calif.; AP writers Thomas Watkins and John Antczak contributed to this report from Los Angeles.


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