Saturday, July 9, 2011

He shoots he scores! Kate rewards her prince for leading his team to victory at star-studded polo match as California dream continues

By Sarah Bull and Rebecca English

Well done darling: Prince William leans in for a kiss with Kate after his team won the charity polo match in Santa Barbara, California

Prince William scored three goals and a kiss from his wife Kate at a charity polo match in Santa Barbara today.

The Duke of Cambridge had been confident his team would triumph and was proved right after they stormed through the pivotal game to a 5-3 win.

'A storybook ending here at Santa Barbara!' the announcer told the celebrity-strong crowd after the match, held in aid of the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

Of course we did it! Catherine applauds as a victorious William joins his other team mates to hold the huge silver and gold cup aloft

Looking slightly puffed out the Prince then accepted an 18-inch tall, silver and gold trophy cup from his adoring wife who in turn accepted kisses on both cheeks from the Duke.

Looking demure in a pretty 'De Gournay' silver and marble grey hand-painted chinoiserie silk dress by Jenny Packham, the Duchess of Cambridge then handed gifts in duck-egg blue Tiffany boxes to all 12 players who had participated in today's six chuckkars.

She then posed for photographs with William and his team mates as they held the mighty cup - weighing a hefty 14.7lbs - aloft.

At a pre-match reception William had joked that he wasn't 'a good loser' and was determined to win the cup in what is the club's 100th year.

'The prospect of being able to let loose this afternoon is wonderful for me,' he said. 'That is what sport is all about, being it polo, football - sorry, I mean soccer - or whatever your preferred sport is,' he added, drawing guffaws from the crowd.

The couple had arrived via helicopter from Los Angeles, where they are staying during their three-day tour of the U.S.

In action: The prince, left, leans in to thwack the ball all the while maintaining perfect control over his horse during the match

Tiring work: Looking puffed out - and rather like his brother Prince Harry - William scored three goals before his team won the overall match 5-3

And while the club was packed with stars of stage and screen all eyes were definitely on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Catherine stood out from the crowd in the Jenny Packham dress which she paired with taupe L.K.Bennett 'Sliver' sandals and a gold clutch bag as she waved at supporters alongside her new husband.

Meanwhile, William looked smart in white trousers, a navy jacket, white shirt and brown suede loafers.

Other celebrities to make an appearance at the event, an unofficial welcome to Hollywood for the royal couple, included Rosario Dawson, who wore a cute black dress and model Molly Sims, who donned a stunning cutout lace dress.

Jennifer Love Hewitt was also there, was said she was delighted to rub shoulders with real-life royalty. She said: 'They are so fresh, so elegant. I'm a huge fan and watched the wedding over and over again.'

Stylish: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge cut a stylish appearance as they arrived in Santa Barbara ahead of the charity polo match today

Smiles all round: The Duke and Duchess certainly appeared to be in good spirits as they strolled across the green to the polo match

The charity match took place at the exclusive Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.

Those who were keen to meet the royal couple and watch William lead his fellow polo players into the match could purchase a ticket for $4,000, while others could be given access to the grandstand, a box lunch and a souvenir programme for $400. Any proceeds from the tickets will go to charity.

Security at the pre-match lunch was very tight and everyone accessing was scanned twice and sniffer dogs checked even the smallest of designer handbags.

Fresh-faced: Catherine kept her make-up simple and left her long brown hair loose and tumbling

Californian tans: Both the Duchess and Duke appeared to have picked up a tan and sported some slight colour as they arrived for the match

What's that? Catherine laughs at something William says as they walk towards the event. William looked smart in his white trousers, shirt and navy jacket

Guests will enjoy a three course menu of California chopped salad with parmesan frico and marinated giant shrimp, followed by sweetcorn lasagne with blistered tomatoes and roasted asparagus, and strawberry meringue trifle or tarragon merlot truffle and toffee truffle for dessert.

In his speech, William joked to his celebrity audience that he wouldn't be returning to the polo club unless he won in his upcoming polo match,
He said: 'In terms of coming back, that depends on the result out there today. I'm not a good loser!'

The Duke also admitted his family were very jealous when they heard he would be playing at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club.

He continued: 'My father, The Prince of Wales, and my brother, Harry, were as green as that grass outside when I told them I’d be here today.'

Travelling in style: The Duke and Duchess arrived at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in a helicopter

Stylish: Catherine teamed her Jenny Packham floral dress with taupe L.K. Bennett heeled sandals and a gold clutch bag

Greetings! William waves at the crowds as he and his wife touch down in Santa Barbara

Posing up: The couple looked excited to be part of such an occasion at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club

The Duke and Duchess arrived in California on Friday after a nine-day trip to Canada, their first foreign excursion since getting married in April. Within minutes of landing, the couple headed to their first event, a technology summit in Beverly Hills aimed at promoting U.S. investment in British tech firms.

After the polo game, the duke and duchess will head to downtown Los Angeles to attend a black-tie event at the historic Belasco Theatre, where they will be guests of honour at a British Academy of Film and Television Arts dinner honouring 42 young British filmmakers.

Celebrities expected to attend the exclusive event include Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Quentin Tarantino and Judd Apatow.

Taking to the field: William looked delighted as he played in the Foundation Polo Challenge match at the club

Pre-match wish: Before William started playing polo, wife Catherine popped behind the scenes to wish him luck

Battling it out: William, who was on the Royal Salute team, takes on teams from Audi and American Express

The newlyweds have a busy schedule ahead of them in the U.S., which will take them from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the poverty of Skid Row.

Speaking shortly ahead of their arrival, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Britain's ambassador to the US, said: 'They have had a fantastically successful trip to Canada and they will have a great welcome in California.

'They will meet a huge range of people from the governor to people working in the projects of Skid Row. They will get a good snapshot of life in this part of California.'

Stunning: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rosario Dawson and model Molly Sims were among the first celebrities to arrive at the polo match

Here come the boys: Joe Jonas donned a cable knit red cardigan for the event while Billy Zane opted for a smart grey suit

In contrast to the high society events, the royal couple will also go to Skid Row to see how a community arts organisation is helping youngsters in the socially deprived area of down town LA. Inner-City Arts uses visual arts and performance to give homeless and poverty-hit youngsters a creative outlet.

'People just want a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess,' said Los Angeles resident Christian Kang. 'There's so much compassion in both of them. I know they're going to Skid Row, and I think that's very good to see from someone in his position.'

The royal couple's final event before jetting back to the UK will see them attend a jobs fair at Sony Pictures Studio staged by Service Nation: Mission Serve.

Light and bright: Zoe Saldana, Nicolette Sheridan and Alice Eve all opted for neutral tones as they posed for photographers

The body is an umbrella organisation set up by the US government which brings together different service charities to support the re-integration of servicemen and women into civvy street.

Though Prince William has been to America before, it is Kate's first trip to the U.S.

A source close to Catherine told gossip website that the Duchess was 'excited' about the trip but was worried about remembering people's names.

The source said: 'When I spoke with Catherine this morning, she said she is tired and worried about remembering everyone’s names. I told her she was doing well and gave her some tips on how to write them down. She said she’s excited for the day though. She goes to bed early, which is good.'

Gearing up: A slightly nervous-looking William waits to make his speech as Kate looks on

What a joker! William filled his speech with jokes and humour, as well as mentioning his father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry

But Kate needn't worry about how they are being perceived by people during their nine-day tour of America and Canada, as the royal pair have already been dubbed the 'most polite celebrities ever' after turning down an on-air interview with US radio presenter Ryan Seacrest.

In anticipation of the high-profile visit, the American Idol host had asked his producers to request an interview with the Dike and Duchess to welcome them to Hollywood.

However, shortly after reaching out to them, Seacrest says his producers received what may go down as the 'most pleasant' response to a guest booking ever.

Delicious: Guests were served California chopped salad with parmesan frico and marinated giant shrimp to start followed by Sweet Corn Lasagna with blistered tomatoes and roasted asparagus

Reading out the email he received from one of the couple's representatives, Seacrest relayed: 'It's very kind of you to offer the Duke and Duchess on Ryan's radio show.

'I'm very sorry to say, however, that the couple will not be undertaking any interviews during their tour of Canada and California, or before or immediately after it.

'This is normal practice for members of the royal family when an official overseas visit occurs. Furthermore the Duke and Duchess actually very rarely take part in interviews at all. Sorry to be sending a disappointing response, but hope you enjoy their visit to California.'

Though Secrest had his hopes up for a visit from the Duke and Duchess, he later admitted: 'I knew there wasn't a chance in hell.'

Quick change: Earlier in the week, Catherine was seen wearing a lavender dress by Serbian-born designer Roksanda Illincic (L) before swapping it for a green-belted dress by American designer Diane von Furstenberg

Fashion icon: During the couple's royal tour of Canada, the Duchess wore a variety of colourful outfits, including a quirky cowboy-inspired outfit to watch the rodeo


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