After wooing Canada, it was California next for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during their first whirlwind official overseas tour together.
To celebrate their visit, the California Tourist Board has declared summer 2011 “The Royal Summer” in honour of the royal couple’s three-day visit which included a visit to meet underprivileged kids in Downtown LA, a glittering BAFTA dinner Hollywood, to support British talent, and a charity polo match in Santa Barbara.
The Visit California website www.visitcalifornia.co.uk says:
“While the royal newlyweds will only have three days to soak up our legendary lifestyle, the rest of the world (that means you!) can holiday like a royal in the Golden State all summer long.
Hotels, attractions and venues statewide are offering special Royal Summer packages and experiences inspired by the couple’s visit. Be it following in Will & Kate’s footsteps, embracing their active lifestyle or booking a holiday fit for a king, you can enjoy California’s diversity and abundance with a distinctly regal twist throughout July and August.”
Even Pinks, the most famous hot dog joint in Hollywood and a celebrity favourite created a special “Royal Dog” in honour of the couple’s visit. It’s two hot dogs on one bun with mustard, cheese, onions, pickle relish, two slices of bacon and a “spot” of Pink’s famous chilli and at $6 (£3.75) it’s quite a royal meal deal.
On their last night, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Hollywood stars in Los Angeles for a glittering Bafta dinner – the inaugural Brits To Watch in aid of supporting up-and-coming British acting talent. The royals joined actors Jack Black, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and music legends Barbara Streisand and Jennifer Lopez as well as British comic actor Stephen Fry.
Fry, who met the couple at a British Consul private reception on Friday evening, attended by David Beckham who has just become a father again, welcomed the Bafta evening as a way to present the best of British acting talent to Hollywood’s own royalty.
A Bafta panel selected forty-two emerging British actors and actresseses who were invited to the Belasco Theatre to meet the "movers and shakers" in Hollywood such as Tom Hanks and his wife Rita.The Duke, who thanked Colin Firth for providing his witty opening line, is the president of Bafta and during his speech he asked Bafta to help the new wave of "enormously talented Brits".
"Please give them the opportunities you have always extended to some of the brightest and best that Britain has to offer," he said. "When American and British creative talent gets together, magic happens."
Fry commented on the extraordinary success of the royal visit, saying William and Catherine “are an extraordinary selling point that no other nation has.” The couple have the same “human touch” Diana, Princess of Wales, was famous for, and both the Canadian and US visits could not have gone better.
He added, “Picture for a second the grandson of the president of Italy arriving in LA – it would take half a line in a newspaper, it just wouldn’t interest anybody."
Earlier, the Duke took part in a charity polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in a tournament to raise funds for his charity The American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. Tickets cost between $400 and $4,000 and Kate presented the trophy to the winning team.
To see the red carpet photos of the star-studded BAFTA “Brits to Watch” evening click here: www.bafta.org/brits-to-watch/the-duke-duchess-of-cambridge-at-bafta-brits-to-watch,386,GAL.html