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Polo, glamour and charity for Wills and Kate in LA
LONDON (AP) - Prince William and the former Kate Middleton plan to combine red-carpet glamour with serious charity work during a trip to California next month, palace officials said Wednesday.
The three-day visit to the Los Angeles area will be Middleton's first visit to the United States. It will follow a longer trip to Canada where the royal couple, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will celebrate Canada's national day in the capital, visit the remote Northwest Territories and open the Calgary Stampede.
Private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said the duke and duchess will attend a black-tie dinner at LA's renovated Belasco Theater to introduce young British film talent to Hollywood executives on July 9.
He said the guest list for the red carpet event is still being worked out.
"The goal is not to meet celebrities, the goal is to connect young British talent with Hollywood decision makers, the people in the back room who put the deals together," Lowther-Pinkerton said.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is organizing the event, called "BAFTA Brits to Watch." William serves as president of the academy.
Earlier that day, William will play at a charity polo match in Santa Barbara, with Middleton scheduled to award the trophy to the winning team.
Officials said Middleton, whose fashion choices have been widely praised since she took up her official duties, would not bring a special "dresser" on the trip but would rely on an administrative assistant to help with her clothes and provide other kinds of help on her first royal tour.
A hairdresser will be part of the entourage, officials said.
In addition, Lowther-Pinkerton said that announced plans to hire a housekeeper and dresser in London had been dropped because the household workers are not needed while the couple's primary base is in Anglesey, Wales, where William serves as a Royal Air Force helicopter rescue pilot.
"That's been put on hold," he said. "It's not needed in the next couple of years."
While in Los Angeles, William and his bride will attend a private reception hosted by Tusk, an African conservation charity of which the prince is a patron, to highlight the group's community development work on the continent. The duo will have the chance to meet a number of philanthropists and donors who are committed to support the work of the charity, Tusk said in a statement.
The royal couple also plans to meet inner-city youths involved in an arts program and to meet military families in Los Angeles to learn more about how veterans are reintegrated into society. They will pack care packages bound for service personnel in Afghanistan.
The trip to California will follow a June 30-July 8 visit to Canada that will mark the royal couple's first overseas engagement since their marriage in late April.
The couple will visit the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Alberta, as well as the vast Northwest Territories.
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