Hollywood gets Royal treatment

Prince William speaks with actress Nicole Kidman at the inaugural 'BAFTA Brits to Watch' event at...
Prince William speaks with actress Nicole Kidman at the inaugural 'BAFTA Brits to Watch' event at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Baron, pool)
Prince William kisses his wife after his team, Royal Salute, won the Foundation Polo Challenge at...
Prince William kisses his wife after his team, Royal Salute, won the Foundation Polo Challenge at The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet in Carpinteria, California. (Alex J. Berliner/AP Images for YourBash)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge mingle with crowd members at the Service Nation: Mission Serve ...
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge mingle with crowd members at the Service Nation: Mission Serve 'Hiring Our Heroes Los Angeles' job fair event at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

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.

The pair were then due to 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 US 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 on to 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 $US400, while anyone paying $4000 for a VIP ticket got a chance to hobnob with William and his bride.

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.

 

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