William and Kate arrive in Los Angeles
'We ask that the paparazzi be respectful and dignified': L.A.'s deputy police chief
Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have arrived in California, following up their nine-day visit to Canada.
The royal couple touched down at Los Angeles International Airport Friday, where they had been flown from Calgary by a Canadian Forces Airbus A310.
They were welcomed by California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the British ambassador and consul general and other officials.
Kate changed on the flight from Canada and emerged wearing a nude-colored knee-length sheath dress. William wore a navy blue suit with a purple tie.
The royal couple climbed into a black Range Rover and headed for their first event, a technology summit in Beverly Hills aimed at promoting U.S. investment in British tech firms.
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.
Authorities have put the paparazzi, known for their cutthroat tactics in pursuing shots of the region's many celebrities, on notice that aggressive actions will not be tolerated.
"We ask that the paparazzi be respectful and dignified," Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Michael Downing said. "And we will be respectful and dignified to the paparazzi."
Security for the visit is being co-ordinated between the Los Angeles Police Department, the State Department and other agencies.
It's not quite on a par with a visit from the president, but it's close, Downing said.
"It is a very important event for Los Angeles," he said. "It is really an honour to have the royal couple in Los Angeles and we want to make sure they have a good impression."
The royal couple wrapped up their Canadian tour by helping launch the Calgary Stampede on Friday.
Their California weekend will be more business than pleasure, and will leave little opportunity for the city's commoners to either jeer or revere.
Trips to the beach, Disneyland or Universal Studios are off the royal agenda as the couple instead focuses on charitable work, promoting British interests in the U.S. and a game of polo near Santa Barbara.
Though Prince William has been to the U.S. before, it is Kate's first trip there. William's late mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales, who would have turned 50 this month, charmed Americans when she visited in the 1980s.
The newlyweds arrive after meeting with enthusiastic crowds as they crisscrossed Canada. French-speaking separatists in Quebec, however, predictably jeered them on their visit to the city.
On Saturday, the couple will travel along the scenic Pacific coast from Los Angeles to the posh Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. For the price of a $4,000 US ticket, the well-heeled can schmooze briefly with the prince and princess and watch William lead his fellow polo players into competition and then see Kate present the trophy to the winning team.
Those who can't afford to shell out $4,000 to chow down with the royal couple can purchase a $400 ticket that will get them admission to the grandstand, a box lunch and a souvenir program.
Proceeds will go to charity.
From red carpet to Skid Row
On Saturday evening, the duke and duchess will walk the red carpet at the historic Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, where they will be guests of honour at a British Academy of Film and Television Arts dinner honouring 42 young British filmmakers.
On Sunday, the duke and duchess will be taking in a less glamorous slice of Los Angeles, namely the Skid Row area downtown, where they will watch a dance at a nonprofit academy that gives children from poverty-stricken neighbourhoods free classes in visual and performing arts.
After attending a job fair for U.S. servicemen and women transitioning to civilian life, the couple will fly out of Los Angeles midafternoon on Sunday.
Although there won't be many opportunities to glimpse William and Kate, anglophiles are planning to gather by the hundreds to celebrate the visit at Ye Olde King's Head, a popular British restaurant and pub in Santa Monica.
"We're hoping they might swing by and have a pint with us," joked manager Lisa Powers. "You never know, they might. They won't be that far away."