Sunday, July 10, 2011

The red carpet royals: Hollywood's glitterati turn out in force to welcome William and Kate to Tinseltown

By Daily Mail Reporter

Hollywood royalty: Wearing a classic tuxedo, Prince William escorts Kate down the red carpet and into the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles

For a crowd used to being the subject of global adulation, the tables were turned for Tinseltown's elite as some of Hollywood's biggest stars jostled for the opportunity to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate and William were the guests of honour at a glittering Bafta dinner in aid of British creative talent - an event which saw some of the most famous faces on the planet momentarily become star-struck fans in the presence of royalty.

Famous names from the world of film and television gathered for the event, which had been touted as the hottest ticket in Tinseltown, which showcased up and coming actors, directors and other members of the video games industry.

Actors Jack Black, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez were among the guests as was comic actor Stephen Fry.

Warm welcome: The couple wave at the assembled crowd of well wishers who had gathered to catch a glimpse before they disappeared into the theatre

The royal couple have become the toast of California after jetting into the country on Friday for a whirlwind three-day visit, which comes after a successful tour of Canada.

The stars gushed in their admiration of the royal couple. Kidman stopped briefly on the red carpet outside the theatre and praised the Duke and Duchess.

She said: 'I think they are lovely. I just got off the phone to my mum and she said, 'I'm so glad you're going, you're Australian' - they just make you smile.'

Fry, who met the couple at a consul-general reception on Friday night, welcomed the evening for presenting a 'shop window' for new talent.

Working the royal magic: Kate exudes old-school Hollywood glamour as she steps on to the red carpet ahead of the BAFTA 'Brits To Watch' event in Los Angeles

He also praised William and Kate's presence and the monarchy, generally adding: 'They are an extraordinary selling point that no other nation has.

'Picture for a second the grandson of the president of Italy arriving in LA - it would take half a line in a newspaper, it just wouldn't interest anybody.

'We have this extraordinary hangover from our past that means something to Americans and allows us to set up a shop window for talent, that's what this evening is all about.'

Glitter: Nicole Kidman carries on the silver theme in an Elie Saab floor-length gown as she makes her way inside the theatre for the Bafta dinner

Royal speaker: Prince William is the president of Bafta and delivered a speech at the event (left) and (right) the royal couple making their entrance

William is president of Bafta and the organisation hosted the evening to highlight the range and depth of the British talent currently emerging in film, television and video games.

Forty-two emerging Brits have been selected by an expert Bafta panel to attend the event to introduce them to the 'movers and shakers' in Hollywood.

The Bafta reception and dinner was held in the architecturally Belasco Theatre in central Los Angeles.

Built in 1926 to augment the many other theatres, music halls and 'picture palaces' in the vicinity, the Belasco remained a regular theatrical venue until it closed in 1952.

Keeping mum: Jennifer Lopez brought her mother along to the prestigious event and showed off her figure in a green a-symmetrical number

Mom, I'd like you to meet... Jennifer Lopez and her mother chat with the royal couple at the glittering event

It then housed a church until 1984 and fell into disuse until it was bought renovated at a cost of about 12 million dollars.

The royal couple arrived to deafening screams from crowds held behind crash barriers and walked along the red carpet and held a small walkabout, meeting families whose relatives were connected with the event.

The Duchess looked stunning in a lavender-coloured dress by Alexander McQueen and William was smart in his dinner jacket and black bow tie.

Inside the theatre they met leading figures from Bafta and just before they arrived in the theatre's ballroom Duncan Kenworthy, the academy's vice president and one of the country's leading producers, told the many famous faces in the room to 'be cool' and not to rush the celebrities when they came in, but the royals proved a big draw.

Game for a laugh: Actress Nicole Kidman giggles as she chats with the Duke of Cambridge

Mingling: The Duke and Duchess chat with Tom Hanks, wife Rita and Nicole Kidman at the glittering event

William gave a speech to the guests and joked with them at the beginning.

Speaking in a slightly husky voice he made the audience laugh when he said: 'Before I start I should just like to thank Colin Firth for my perfect opening line - 'I have a voice'.'

He went on to say: 'As president of Bafta, I am immensely proud of the success Brits have had in the fiercely competitive world of film, television and video games.

Their creative and hi-tech achievements have contributed greatly to our national wealth, not to mention our personal pleasure.

'Tonight I celebrate them: but I particularly celebrate the fact that, hard on their heels, comes another wave of enormously talented Brits, whom you have the chance to meet this evening. They deserve equal success and, with your help, will surely achieve it.

Old-school glamour: The Duke of Cambridge seems captivated by singer Barbra Streisand (left), accompanied by her husband James Brolin while actress Jennifer Garner grins from ear to ear as she meets the prince as Rita Wilson looks on

Working the room: Hollywood's royalty brushed shoulders with Britain's royalty as Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks chats with the Duchess of Cambridge as wife Rita looks on

'Please give them the opportunities you have always extended to some of the brightest and best that Britain has to offer. When American and British creative talent gets together, magic happens.

'Let's continue the winning formula. Catherine and I have been hugely looking forward to tonight's event with its exciting cast, British and American. Thank you all so much for coming. I believe great things will result. And now, as they say: 'Lights, Camera, Action'.'

When William stepped down from the ballroom stage, one of the first groups the royal and his wife talked to was Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks, and his wife Rita Wison, and Barbra Streisand.

Getting to know you: Kate is deep in conversation with Nicole Kidman (left) while Cat Deeley (right) was flying the Union Jack as one of the Brits in attendance at the event

They spent a number of minutes chatting to the famous trio before working the room.

The royal couple walked down to an ornate room below ground level to meet the 42 talented creatives invited to the event. William led the way, chatting to the long line-up and was followed by Kate.

Producer Adrian Sturges, 34, from London whose most recent film is Albatross - a female coming of age movie - said after meeting the royals: 'My last film was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival and they really hoped to visit it.

'Kate said she was having a wonderful time and was excited about being in America.'

When the Duke and Duchess walked into the theatre's main auditorium, 27 tables were lavishly decorated in front of them.

Hollywood welcome: Jack Black and his wife Tanya pose for photographers outside the event while Tom Hanks and wife Rita also dress to impress

Pulling out the stops (from left to right): Actress and singer Zooey Deschanel wore a sparkling mid length number, while Mario Bello wore a one shouldered silver gown and Kristin Chenoweth stepped out in gold

The first and only table they stopped at was one where Tom Hanks, Stephen Fry, and James Gandolfini were sat.

Kate chatted at length to the Sopranos star as did William, but the other celebrities and guests around them did not get a chance to speak to the royals.

When they took their seats at the main table, despite the fact Hollywood stars Streisand and Kidman were sat opposite, they appeared engrossed in their own company.

The royals affectionately stroked each other and chatted away until Kidman stuck her hand across the table by way of a reintroduction following her brief meeting with the royals in the ballroom.

Streisand also made the first move but had to get past a large lamp to shake hands with the royals.

Dinner staff in bowler hats, Union flag-inspired outfits and Edwardian-style waistcoats gave the night a British feel.

And the guests drank from gold rimmed glasses and ate from antique-style plates at tables dressed with blooms of English dahlias and roses.

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

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

Cocktail hour before dinner featured Taittinger champagne, Grey Goose vodka 'Floral Martini' cocktails and the traditional British summertime drink of Pimm's.

An array of hors d'oeuvres were served including bite-size fish and chips with malt vinegar espuma, crisp toast with locally-farmed English pea puree and tangerine lace, and towers of ahi tuna with avocado and soya onions.

The menu blended British tradition with a touch of California cuisine.

Highlights included a courgette and mint tian with a lemon and pine nut gremolata, shaved manchego and a courgette blossom flower garnish to start; and a filet of beef with creamed leeks, pickled garlic, asparagus, turnip, baby onions, potato fondant, and a red wine sauce.

For dessert, guests enjoyed a version of the British dessert Eton Mess featuring English rose meringue, strawberries, cream, sugar-dusted edible rose petals and pulled sugar.

The dishes were washed down with fine wines - Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc and Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon.

Hotel Chocolat provided chocolate Bafta masks on the tables.

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


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