California: Britain`s royal newlyweds Prince William and Kate kicked off their maiden US visit on Friday in a truly California way -- by networking with the technology and entertainment industries.
Arriving on a typically sunny Southern California day, the young royal couple went straight to Beverly Hills to promote technology and new media investment back home to a room of British and American entrepreneurs.
The opening event on the royal agenda set the stage for a three-day visit in which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aim to prioritize trade and charity work. With tough economic times at home, William and Kate will keep the celebrity quotient in check, even though they are on the giant celebrity stage that is Los Angeles.
That strategy hasn`t stopped the media in the entertainment capital of the world from going all out for the high-wattage visit, the first ever by the former Kate Middleton to the United States.
Television carried live images of the couple`s arrival from Canada after an eight-day visit there in their first official overseas trip since marrying in April. She wore a simple pale pastel dress, he a dark suit as they descended from the plane to meet California Governor Jerry Brown.
In another California tradition, the TV helicopters rode with the royal motorcade from the airport to Beverly Hills, while few onlookers watched the famous couple pass through the palm-lined streets.
William and Kate, in their first months of marriage, have earned a reputation for handily working the crowds in a relaxed and accessible way. But their first hours on California soil weren`t without some seemingly uncomfortable moments.
Around 300 people at the Beverly Hills conference rose to their feet and applauded as William and Kate arrived to sit in briefly on a discussion aimed at promoting U.S. investment in new media technology companies in Britain.
Neither the prince nor his wife spoke publicly as the five executives continued with their onstage presentations for 15 minutes, almost ignoring the royal couple. William fidgeted with his sleeves while the Duchess listened attentively.
William and Kate later toured an exhibition room together, stopping to talk to technology executives and try out different social media and video gadgets.
"That was fantastic. I really enjoyed it," William thanked one of the conference organizers.
The potential future king and queen of Britain might feel more in their element on Saturday, when they head to the wealthy coastal city of Santa Barbara for a celebrity polo match in which William will play.
On Saturday night, they will attend a black tie, $25,000 per table dinner organized by the British Academy for Film and Television (BAFTA) of which William is president.
At that gala, networking will again be on the agenda as 42 young, British, emerging actors, directors, writers and video game designers come together with Hollywood studio executives.