- (Photo: The Clarence House/St. James's Palace Press Office)
The buzz is building fast about the royal couple's upcoming three-day visit to the United States, which starts on Friday. Many event planners spent this Fourth of July preparing for newlyweds, Prince William and his bride, Catherine, who will make their first stop in California, home of the eternal sunshine and Hollywood glitz.
A fabulous dinner at a Consular-General Reception Friday evening inside a private home will be their first official event. The reception is invitation only and being held on behalf of the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, a government department that looks after British business interests and start-ups overseas, according to Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, private secretary for the royal couple.
It has been reported that celebrities are competing for an invitation to the event dinner.
“It is going to be quite the celebrity fest,” said CBS News Royal Contributor Victoria Arbiter.
“They land in Los Angeles and Hollywood's getting very excited. People have paid up to $60,000 to play polo with William on Saturday in Santa Barbara."
“The royal couple’s visit will focus on supporting British interest in California through the prism of their own interests," said an official spokesperson from St. James's Palace in an interview.
The Santa Barbara Conference and Visitors Bureau announced in a release that the royal couple “will be in California July 8-10” for the July 9 “Foundation Polo Challenge,” with Prince William participating in the posh event for “wealthy Californians and movie stars.”
Also, the Santa Barbara Chamber said that Kate Middleton will be handing out the trophy for the event.
Local Santa Barbara radio talk shows are flooded with local royal watchers saying, “all eyes will be on what dress and hats Kate will be wearing.”
Santa Barbara is one of the wealthiest communities in California, and the location for “Ronnie’s Ranch” and other VIPs.
“We also know from previous media reports that L.A. and the party scene down in Hollywood are also planning less formal and more fun events for the young Royals,” a member of the Eugene club that monitors the comings and goings of William and Kate told the media.
Lowther-Pinkerton announced the American itinerary last week:
Saturday, July 9: William will play polo at the Santa Barbara Polo Club. The match will benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.
Saturday night will take them to downtown Los Angeles for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts black-tie dinner and reception at the recently renovated (after being shuttered for more than a quarter of a century) 1926 Belasco Theatre, on Hill Street. The event is meant to spotlight "up and coming British talent," according to St. James's.
Sunday morning, July 10: The couple will have some private time. Later in the day they will visit the Inner-City Arts School, which is described on websites as "an oasis of learning, achievement and creativity in the heart of Skid Row."
The Royals will also attend the Service Nation: Mission Serve job fair for veterans at the Sony Studios in Culver City, before they head to Los Angeles International Airport.
After each event during their trip to Canada, the couple has retired to Canada's CC-150 Polaris 001 airplane and it has become like a haven for the royal couple during the tour.
Lt.-Col. Andy Cook is the pilot of the jet that has been shuttling the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge across the country.
He told the Postmedia News that Will and Kate are using the unglamorous aircraft's surroundings, usually reserved for the prime minister, as a tranquil refuge between their very public appearances.
"The amount of pressure and the amount of people who are always watching the Prince and the Duchess at all times, I think our two tiny rooms in this aircraft are a real haven for them. I tell you when they walk on the airplane, they go in there and the door closes and except for one steward that serves them personally - if they want a coffee or something like that - they are on their own. And they are no longer the Duke and Duchess and they are just a newly married couple," Cook said.
The newlyweds spent America’s Fourth of July going head to head in a competitive dragon boat race across Dalvay Lake in Canada Monday.
They spent most the day outside frolicking on the beach playing tennis, talking to thousands of followers, and racing boats.
Prince William demonstrated "waterbirding" – a technique developed in Canada to safely land a helicopter in water in case of an emergency – before a captive audience while Kate took pictures on the shore.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined sailors on a Canadian warship for a church service Sunday, the fourth day of their visit to Canada, according to the Prince of Wales press release, which gives out daily schedules for the Royals.
The service held was led by Brigadier-General Karl McLean, Chaplain General of the Canadian Forces, and it echoed across Quebec's Queen's wharf, according to the press secretary for the Prince of Wales.
Still, the media is focused on Kate’s wardrobe as "Kate-Mania" continues to flourish. She was reported to be wearing an electric blue Jacquenta dress by Erdem on Sunday. Erdem is the Canadian-born British designer who also designed the navy-blue lace dress she wore on her arrival into Ottawa on Thursday.
William gave a speech in French on Sunday in recognition of the French speaking province after inspecting two immaculate rows of soldiers in their scarlet tunics and bearskins as part of the event.
"For me, as a soldier and an airman, it is a privilege to have inspected a great regiment like the Royal 22nd. Your reputation is as strong as it is legendary. This place has such beauty and history," he said to the crowd.
"You, the Quebecois et Quebecoise, have such vitality and vigor. It is simply a pleasure to be here."
The Duke got a cheer from the crowds when he joked about his pronunciation telling them: "Thank you for your patience with my accent, and I hope that we will have the chance to get to know each other over the years to come," according to Canadian media reports.
Did you know?
The Royal’s “entourage” during the California visit includes seven staff members; with a hairdresser, a private press secretary, an assistant private secretary, and two additional press secretaries – dubbed gofers – and someone to shop for Kate if she eyes an interesting dress or hat, state entertainment analysts after reviewing the royal couple’s official press release that details their California visit.
Source: Prince of Wales press secretary.