The royal newlyweds begin a weekend tour of Southern California

By Alison Schwartz Simon Perry
July 08, 2011 07:00 PM
Danny Moloshok/Landov

It’s the moment American royal watchers have been waiting for.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and husband Prince William arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon for the United States leg of their North American tour.

After their plane touched down at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Canada shortly before 4 p.m., the royal newlyweds walked down the staircase and Kate stepped foot for the first time in the States.

She wore a pale lavender Peridot dress by Roksanda Illinic and high heels as she and William were greeted by California Gov. Jerry Brown, wife Anne Gust Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the British ambassador to the United States, Sir Nigel Sheinwald.

“Welcome to California,” Brown told them, and his wife gave Catherine a red, white & blue bouquet of flowers.

Kate had changed out of the red dress she wore earlier in the day in Canada in preparation for her first Los Angeles event: a conference about U.K. trade investment in Beverly Hills.

The couple, both 29, were whisked by motorcade to the Beverly Hilton, avoiding rush-hour traffic, and were met by screams from hundreds of onlookers outside Variety‘s Venture Capital and New Media Summit.

William and Catherine
Todd Williamson/WireImage

William and Kate, who kicked off their North American tour June 30, were scheduled to attend a Consular-General Reception, where a few lucky businessmen and politicians will get to rub elbows with the royals.

They were set to overnight at Consul-General Barbara Hay’s Los Angeles residence, which has previously attracted stars such as Helena Bonham-Carter and director Tom Hooper.

“In California, the Royal Couple are delighted to be able to contribute to deepening and strengthening the multi-layered links between the United States and the United Kingdom,” say Palace officials.

“The visit will support the interests of the United Kingdom through the prism of the Royal Couple’s interests.”

On Saturday, William and Kate are set to take part in a tournament sponsored by Audi at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, which will benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. And they won’t be on the sidelines: The prince is playing for Team Royal Salute, and Duchess Catherine will present the prize, a Tiffany & Co. trophy, to the winning team.

The royal treatment continues on Saturday night, when the couple will attend the British Academy of Film and Television Arts “Brits to Watch” event, which Nigel Lythgoe is helping organize, at downtown Los Angeles’s historic Belasco Theater.

A total of 42 up-and-coming British stars, such as Tom Hughes and Juno Temple, will welcome the couple – along with a number of Hollywood royals, including Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman.

Sunday morning, the couple will enjoy some private time together before meeting with Inner-City Arts students later in the day.

William and Kate will also meet with military families at the Service Nation: Mission Serve veterans job fair at the Sony Studio in Culver City before they head back to airport.