Day 2 of William and Kate’s Southern California weekend excursion, while representing British interests in the U.S., involved a victorious afternoon of polo for the recent royal newlyweds in picturesque Santa Barbara. Not to be outdone later was a lavish red carpet event in downtown Los Angeles at the historic Belasco Theatre.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were the guests of honor for this black-tie gala organized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Prince William was named President of BAFTA in early 2010, so this event was also to promote new talent from Britain. Many American celebrities were on hand in attending either of these events with the royal couple.
Foundation Polo Challenge in Santa Barbara
Here was a great opportunity, if you had the money to purchase the expensive tickets, to see Prince William play polo while Kate looked on. Residents living nearby the Santa Barbara Polo Club in Carpinteria had their homes searched by British Secret Intelligence Service. On top of that, they were given passes to come and go out of the neighborhood when the royal couple was at the club.
The polo match started around 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. Throughout much of it remained scoreless until William scored four goals toward the end. The winning team, Royal Salute, would get their prize presented by none other than Prince William’s wife, Kate. Team Captain Prince William received kisses on the cheek from Kate.
Thousands paid $400 for tickets that included a boxed lunch on one side of the field, while those who paid for the $4,000 tickets enjoyed a sit down lunch in the white tent complete with cocktails. A number of celebrities were in attendance including Zoe Saldana, Rob Lowe, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Governor Jerry Brown. Proceeds from this charity event benefited the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.
Night of Stars and Royalty at the BAFTAs
A-List celebrities and other guests arrived at the renovated downtown LA theatre by 8 p.m. awaiting the arrival of William and Kate. Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez were amongst the biggest stars there. The inaugural “BAFTA Brits to Watch” event featured 42 up-and-coming British talents. Arriving in a Black Rover were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Across the street from the theatre were 300 fans. Once on the red carpet, the royals went to where 30 chosen non-industry people, mostly children, were standing at. They shook hands and spoke briefly to them. Afterwards, the couple went immediately inside the Belasco Theatre without talking to the press. As President of BAFTA since 2010 Prince William spoke briefly by using a movie quote as his opening line from “The King’s Speech.” In a private reception within the black-tie gala the 42 BAFTA honorees met with the Duke and Duchess.
Dinner consisted of Patina’s filet of beef, Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon blanc and merlot and for dessert, Eton Mess. This is also known as strawberries and cream. It can be a messy dessert, according to the chef, but it has to be prepared perfectly.
Catherine Saillant, “Royals watchers crowd Carpinteria polo club”, Los Angeles Times
Bryan Alexander, “Prince William scores four goals at polo match”, USA Today
Bill Higgins, “Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Hollywood Visit: Inside the BAFTA Event”, The Hollywood Reporter
“Prince William and Kate attend BAFTA gala”, CBS News