Los Angeles, July 09 : The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Los Angeles on Friday to begin a whirlwind weekend tour.
The royal couple had departed Calgary earlier in the day after wrapping up a nine-day trip to Canada, having endeared themselves to Canadian crowds with a skillful mix of royal pomp and playful informality on their first official trip abroad since marrying.
Prince William and his wife touched down at Los Angeles International Airport just before 4 p.m. (2300 GMT) aboard a gray Canadian military jet. On the tarmac, the pilot flipped open a cockpit window and waved William's Canadian flag.
The former Kate Middleton, who left Canada in a red satin and wool scarlet coat-dress by Catherine Walker, changed aboard the flight and emerged under sunny skies in Los Angeles wearing a light-gray, knee-length dress with ruching on the shoulder. William wore a navy blue suit with a purple tie.
They were greeted by a small group of officials including California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Britain's ambassador the U.S., Sir Nigel Sheinwald.
They 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.
Accompanied by a California Highway Patrol motorcade, the duke and duchess avoided rush-hour traffic by staying off the clogged freeways.
Before their arrival at the expo, former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Chelsea Kane, “Body of Proof” actress Dana Delaney, “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, Dallas Mavericks tycoon Mark Cuban and “Bridesmaids” director Paul Fieg chatted during a panel about social media.
Attendees stood and clapped as the royal couple entered the ballroom and sat on stage alongside other panelists.
Neither spoke during the discussion, though Kate smiled when the panelists mentioned that attendees were welcome to visit Tech City in east London. At the end of the panel, the moderator asked if anyone wanted to speak. Kate nudged William, who shrugged off the opportunity to talk.
Though Prince William has been to America before, it will be Kate's first trip to the U.S. William's late mother, Princess Diana, who would have turned 50 this month, charmed Americans when she visited in the 1980s.
Authorities have put the paparazzi, known for their cutthroat tactics, on notice that aggressive actions will not be tolerated. Photographers were partly blamed for causing the Paris crash that killed Princess Diana in 1997.
Residents in Hancock Park, the exclusive neighborhood that is home to the British consul general where William and Kate will stay, have worked with police to create no-trespass notices for their homes. Any photographers standing on their driveways will be instantly arrested.
In Canada, the newlyweds were cheered almost everywhere they went. They celebrated Canada Day with hundreds of thousands on Parliament Hill, did an impromptu walkabout in Quebec City, raced in dragon boats on bucolic Prince Edward Island and went canoeing in the wilds of the Northwest Territories.
A much talked-about highlight was the race in Prince Edward Island when the prince's boat defeated Kate's. William's consoling hug and Kate's playful response—she shoved the prince as if to push him into the water—revealed their competitive, loving and fun side, and warmed Canadians' hearts.
There was a moment Thursday that almost amounted to a faux pas—when the young prince and his bride appeared to snub their western Canadian host by not donning white cowboy hats upon arrival at airport, a time-honored Calgary tradition. But ruffled feathers were smoothed when the royal duo turned up for a rodeo show later in full western regalia, including the hats.
William said the nine-day trip to Canada exceeded expectations and promised to return.
William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, is Canada's titular head of state. Carolyn Harris, a royal historian with Queen's University, said the royal couple's visit would likely ensure the monarchy remains the head of state in Canada for years to come.
“The degree of popularity that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoy really shows that the institution really has a popular and viable future in Canada,” Harris said. AP