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Kate and William land in Los Angeles for US trip
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bathed in sunshine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived Friday in Southern California’s vacation playground. But within minutes of touching down at the airport, they were whisked off to work.
After meeting a small group of dignitaries on the tarmac, the royal couple climbed into a black Range Rover and headed directly to their first event, a technology summit in Beverly Hills aimed at promoting U.S. investment in British tech firms.
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 coastal city of Santa Barbara, much of the couple’s three-day visit is focusing 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 at Los Angeles International Airport 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 to the U.S., Sir Nigel Sheinwald, greeted the couple at the airport.
Zoomed along by a California Highway Patrol motorcade, the duke and duchess avoided rush-hour traffic on the 12-mile route to the Beverly Hills summit 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.
A small crowd of royal watchers gathered outside the hotel as the couple arrived but the duke and duchess did not stop to speak with them. Attendees stood and clapped as they entered the ballroom and sat on stage alongside other panelists.
Neither spoke during the discussion, though Kate smiled when the panelists mentioned that attendees were welcome to visit Tech City. At the end of the panel, the moderator asked if anyone wanted to talk. Kate nudged William, who shrugged off the opportunity.
Neil Stiles, president of Variety, which sponsored the event, accompanied the couple for brief demonstrations of technology on display at the expo, including the new tablet computer from HP and augmented reality applications from Qualcomm.
“They were delightful company,” Stiles said. “They were relaxed, very comfortable in the environment. It was a lot to take in. They arrived at a conference that’s been running all day on a very heavy business subject, and I thought they coped with it really well.”
Britain’s royal family has shown itself to be tech-savvy in recent years and maintains accounts on several social media sites.
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 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.
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