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Kate and William heading for Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were headed to Tinseltown on Friday, though the quick trip was hardly going to be a honeymoon for the newlyweds.
The royal couple are spending most of their whirlwind weekend promoting British business ties and highlighting charitable work in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. They also plan to meet with celebrities and up-and-coming British talent and will participate in a polo match in the seaside city of Santa Barbara.
The couple arrived at Calgary International Airport earlier in the day for the three-hour flight to the City of Angels. They spent the final morning of their nine-day visit to Canada attending the Calgary Stampede, a 10-day exhibition and rodeo that celebrates the western Canadian way of life.
Both donned cowboy hats and jeans for the occasion.
Despite a few predictable jeers from French separatists in Quebec, the trip was widely seen as a success, with the newlyweds charming Canadians at every stop.
Upon arrival in Los Angeles, the prince and his bride will be met by California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife.
Though Prince William has been to America before, it will be 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. Photographers were partly blamed for causing the Paris crash that killed Princess Diana in 1997.
Residents in Hancock Park, the exclusive neighborhood that is home to the British consul general where William and Kate will stay, have worked with police to create no-trespass notices for their homes. Any photographers standing on their driveways will be instantly arrested.
Security for the visit is being coordinated between Los Angeles police, the State Department and other agencies. It’s not quite on a par with a visit from the president, but it was close, police Deputy Chief Michael Downing said.
“It is a very important event for Los Angeles,” he said. “It is really an honor to have the royal couple in Los Angeles, and we want to make sure they have a good impression.”
On Saturday, the couple will travel along the scenic Pacific coast from Los Angeles to the posh Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. For the price of a $4,000 ticket, the well-heeled can schmooze briefly with the prince and princess and watch Prince William lead his fellow polo players into competition and then see Kate present the trophy to the winning team.
Those who can’t afford to chow down with the royal couple can purchase a $400 ticket that will get them admission to the grandstand, a box lunch and a souvenir program. Proceeds will go to charity.
Later on, the duke and duchess will walk the red carpet at the historic Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, where they will be guests of honor at a British Academy of Film and Television Arts dinner honoring 42 young British filmmakers.
On Sunday, the duke and duchess will watch a dance at a nonprofit academy in the gritty Skid Row area downtown, then attend a job fair for U.S. servicemen and women transitioning to civilian life.
By Donald Lambro
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