Celebrity

Category: Royal Visit

Prince Harry tours Universal Studios, bunks in Beverly Hills

Prince Harry comes to Hollywood!

Prince Harry hit Hollywood this week, taking advantage of a holiday they don't have in Britain.

Residing on the United States' West Coast during a brief military training stint, the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, made the most of Thanksgiving time in Los Angeles by touring a major film lot and bunking at a swanky hotel. 

On Wednesday, Harry and a group of pals hit Universal Studios Hollywood for a VIP tour. A gourmet lunch by in-house chef Eric Kopelow was immediately followed by a turn on the Simpsons Ride. 

Favorite attractions for the prince included King Kong 360 3-D and the plane crash site from "War of the Worlds" on the Studio Tour, plus the ever-popular "Jaws" experience, an onlooker told the Ministry.

The group had a real showbiz moment when it was allowed to sneak through a music-video shoot on Universal's back lot, capped off with some adrenaline seeking on Revenge of the Mummy -- the Ride, a roller coaster that Harry whipped through twice.

Before departing for Beverly Hills, where a source tells us Harry checked into the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel, the prince and company played some carnival games. Prince William's brother nabbed an oversize Curious George doll for his efforts, passing it off to an excited child just before heading out. 

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Prince Harry's here! Prince Harry's here! (Here being, um, SoCal)

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Prince Harry attends a fundraising day at the offices of BGC Partners on Sept. 12 in London. Czech model Eva Herzigova is in the background. Credit: Paul Grover / Getty Images



Prince Harry's here! Prince Harry's here! (Here being, um, SoCal)

Prince Harry arrives in Southern California

Prince Harry has arrived in Southern California, and the military couldn't be more excited!

OK, that's probably an exaggeration. Did we say "military" when we meant to say "the Ministry"? No matter -- Prince Harry fans, as well as wanna-be princesses in Southern California (and that's certainly a significant portion of the population) are taking note as the eligible bachelor, age 27, lands in the U.S.

The helicopter pilot has arrived at El Centro's U.S. Naval Air Facility.  He'll be in the U.S. for two months of training, which also will take him to Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in southern Arizona.

As The Times' L.A. Now blog notes, while in Southern California, the prince will practice firing missiles, rockets and cannons from an Apache helicopter. Part of the attraction for training in the southwestern U.S. is that the harsh desert environment is similar to that of Afghanistan, where Harry may soon return

With that to look forward to, Prince Harry may want to let off some steam, as he has been known to do at times. Those with princess aspirations may want to check out possible area nightspots. If Harry can dance to house music and leap into a pool in Croatia, he could cut a rug in El Centro.

And if El Centro isn't quite enough for the royal wild child, it's less than two hours' drive west from the base to, say, the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, where the likes of Ashton Kutcher have been reported to let off some steam.

In and around his lifestyle, Harry has risen to the rank of captain in Britain's Army Air Corps, where he's known as Capt. Harry Wales, a name that may bring to mind Captain America. Surnames have a long and complicated history among British royalty, but the official website of the British monarchy says, in large part, princes don't need to dilly-dally with things like surnames.

For the most part, members of the Royal Family who are entitled to the style and dignity of HRH Prince or Princess do not need a surname, but if at any time any of them do need a surname (such as upon marriage), that surname is Mountbatten-Windsor. 

Wales. So much easier.

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-- Amy Hubbard

Photo: Prince Harry prince arrives at the Naval Air Facility El Centro in California. Credit: Reuters 



From Kate to Catherine: Dignity and smiles 'in the eye of the storm'

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

The former Kate Middleton, recently minted as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, seems to be adapting to royal life splendidly with husband Prince William -- and we got some insight from royal watcher Cat Deeley on what makes her such a natural.

"She's absolutely within the eye of the storm and at no moment has she got a foot wrong," Deeley told us Tuesday at Miu Miu's celebration of the short film "Muta" in Beverly Hills.

While looking beautiful and radiating "dignity and decorum" go a long way in making the normal girl worthy of her title, Deeley said Catherine has a secret weapon: "Above and beyond anything else -- she's so easy with her smiles. It's connecting with another human being."

The duchess' Canadian tour, capped with a whirlwind weekend in California, went a long way in proving she's capable of her duties and, most importantly, of reaching beyond them to fulfill her and William's promise of modernizing the monarchy.

Also, said Deely, "she just has great jewelry."

Agreed

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William and Kate will bed down in Hancock Park mansion during L.A. visit

-- Matt Donnelly
Twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, works on a clay turtle project with students during a visit to the Inner-City Arts campus in downtown L.A. on July 10. Credit: Mike Nelson / Reuters

 


Jonah Hill: Losing weight isn't a 'fun endeavor,' but it's important [Video]

Those who follow Jonah Hill on Twitter might have noticed over the last couple of months that the actor's avatar has changed frequently -- and that in each new profile photo, Hill has appeared progressively thinner.

On Saturday, the comedian turned heads at BAFTA's "Brits to Watch" event when he showed up to the black-tie event looking dramatically more svelte.

Hill, who said he was unsure of how much weight he has lost, revealed that he'd recently begun working out and changing his eating habits because he "thought it was important to be healthier."

"It's not fun," he said of his efforts. "I wouldn't say it's the most fun endeavor I've ever took on in my life -- but it's important. And I'm enjoying it. If I eat something unhealthy now, I kind of feel a little weird and my body hurts."

Hill scored an invite to the glitzy event in downtown L.A. courtesy of MGM, one of the financiers of his upcoming film, "21 Jump Street," a big-screen reimagining of the TV show that premiered in 1987 starring Johnny Depp and Holly Robinson Peete.

"I thought it was completely a unique experience," he said of the get-together attended by BAFTA president Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. "Of course I'd want to meet them. I've never met a prince or a princess before. I met Prince -- the singer."

-- Amy Kaufman

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA


Will and Kate reign over Hollywood at BAFTA's 'Brits to Watch'

Jennifer Lopez greets the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, expanded their domain to include Hollywood, sweeping some of its biggest movie stars off their feet Saturday evening in downtown Los Angeles.

BAFTA, the British film academy over which Prince William presides, hosted its uber-hyped "Brits to Watch" fete, welcoming emerging British artists and some of America's most treasured talent. 

Kate and William get their Hollywood glam on The duchess, in McQueen, made a simple and stunning entrance with her husband on their first Hollywood red carpet. Crowds swelled outside the Belasco Theater for the event, which followed a successful day of polo for the pair. 

Nicole Kidman, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks were just a few of Tinseltown's royalty present for the occasion. 

Photos: Will and Kate, Day Two

Younger celebs including Chris Evans, Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, Juno Temple, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessica Chastain were counted, as well as funnymen Paul Rudd and Judd Apatow, with wife Leslie Mann.

Though the two may be a bit conservative by Hollywood standards, they passed the shmoozing litmus test with flying colors. The duke had many a close conversation, including chats with Streisand and husband James Brolin, as well as Lopez. Kate warmed to Kidman and Garner, enjoying solo conversations while California wine and Grey Goose flowed.

Piers Morgan, an anchor from the newlyweds' homeland, summed it well: "In terms of pure star quality, William and Kate are the biggest stars in the world," he said.

Agreed.

"The impact they've had on Hollywood, which houses the biggest stars in the world, shows you that they are," Morgan added

One tidbit for the Ministry's devoted followers of Fabulous Parties: Kate and William sat at a well-appointed table with Kidman, Streisand and Brolin. 

Also spotted: Mary-Louise Parker, Jonah Hill, Elizabeth Banks, Jason Bateman, Jack Black and Kristin Chenoweth

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photos, from top: Jennifer Lopez with Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; the newlyweds storm their first-ever Tinseltown red carpet. Credits: Matt Baron/ Associated Press; WireImage


Prince William and Kate win big with polo appearance in Carpinteria

Prince William and Kate at polo

Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, continued to sail through their California itinerary, winning hearts and raising money Saturday at a charity polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria.

The newlyweds showed up in their daytime best, Will in navy and khaki and Kate in a Jenny Packham dress, for a game to benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

Photos: Saturday with the royals, turning out for polo and "Brits to Watch"

Celebs including Zoe Saldana, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Orlando Bloom, Rob Lowe, Rosario Dawson, Billy Zane, Molly Sims and Joe Jonas turned up to catch a glimpse of the royals.

Zoe saldanaLunch for guests who dropped $400 or $4,000 to attend was prepared by celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis. The win went to the team on which Prince William played, and the Tiffany & Co. trophy (complete with horseshoe motifs) was presented by his bride.

After the match, a helicopter awaited to zip the Cambridges back to Los Angeles for Saturday evening's BAFTA "Brits to Watch" event.

Expected guests included the likes of Barbra Streisand, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony.  

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William and Kate will bed down in Hancock Park mansion during L.A. visit

 

-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Top photo: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Will's teammates celebrate a big win at their Saturday polo charity match. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency

Left photo: Zoe Saldana cuts a frilly figure on the polo field. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


William and Kate: Where in L.A. could they after-party?

Prince William kisses Catherine

All work and no play make William and Kate a dull Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- sure, the royal duties of the world's most famous couple come first, but as they take Southern California by storm, shouldn't these newlyweds carve out some playtime?

While Friday's agenda included a British investment and trade seminar followed by intimate welcome cocktails, Saturday had polo followed by what will be their big Hollywood moment in the evening at BAFTA's "Brits to Watch" event in downtown L.A.

The Ministry noticed that they didn't have any other obligations until Sunday morning -- and we definitely had some after-party ideas.

Pictures: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at polo and in downtown L.A. for "Brits to Watch"

First and foremost, the couple could always call us and, in traditional L.A. fashion, we'd totally grab late-night rooftop drinks with them and mellow out.

However, in the great likelihood that that doesn't happen, let us suggest:

Soho House: It may be predictable, but the members-only Sunset Boulevard haunt is as exclusive as it gets around here. Enjoying gin and tonics over a shared bolognese and stargazing -- both heavenward and at the other patrons -- would be delightful. 

Pink's Hot Dogs: The two are notoriously down to earth, so why not grab a bite at local legend Pink's? The consistently long line might create an issue for the royals' security detail, but we dare say they'd have some pull. Besides, Pink's has created a new menu item in their honor: The "Royal Dog" has two hot dogs in one bun topped with mustard, cheese, onions, relish, two slices of bacon and a "spot" of chili. 

Griffith Observatory: For privacy and a nod to their St. Andrews University-honed intellects, the pair might enjoy a flannel blanket and some constellations at the L.A. landmark.

Ye Old King's Head Tavern: This British pub in Santa Monica is a taste of home and offers the kind of anonymity the two surely crave after such a whirlwind tour. The menu has classics including sausage rolls, Welsh rarebit and -- duh -- bangers and mash. 

More night-out tips for Kate and Will? If they've already buzzed you to set up rooftop drinks at the London, we're never speaking to you again, but otherwise we'd love to see your ideas in comments.

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, receives a kiss Saturday from her husband, Britain's Prince William, after a charity polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria in support of the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Reuters

 


David Beckham and some local folks welcome Will and Kate to L.A.

Prince William and David Beckham

At a private reception for Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on Friday in Hancock Park, friend-of-Will David Beckham brought the glam while L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Gov. Jerry Brown, the president of USC and the chancellor of UCLA added a domestic touch to the event at the British consul-general's residence.

The newlywed royals, visiting Southern California for three days, mingled with 200 or so guests, a cross-section of the city's civic and business elite. Guests said the couple were personable, taking time to speak with them individually, L.A. Now's Rick Rojas reported.

Royal arrival at LAX Wait, did we say "domestic" when we meant to say "elite"? Silly Ministry of Gossip! Elsewhere, Victoria Beckham remained very, very pregnant.

Photos: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in L.A.

Kate and William arrived from Canada late Friday afternoon at LAX, where they were greeted by Villaraigosa, Brown and Nigel Sheinwald, Britain's ambassador to the United States.

The Duchess of Cambridge carried a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers presented by the governor's wife, Anne Gust Brown, before the couple headed to Beverly Hills for a business event supporting London's "Tech City."

Why so much American love for the royal couple?

Perhaps some "star-struck" teens from Orange County captured the cachet as they staked out the Beverly Hilton, awaiting the Cambridges' arrival: "I feel like their marriage is going to make it," said Shirley Lahr, 18. "She just seems so normal."

Kate, dear, "The Bachelorette" has nothing on you.

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William and Kate will bed down in Hancock Park mansion during L.A. visit

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-- Christie D'Zurilla
twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, California First Lady Anne Gust Brown and Gov. Jerry Brown greet Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, with flowers on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. Credit: Kevork Djanesian / European Pressphoto Agency



Orlando Bloom, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on tap to attend royal polo match

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave Canada for the U.S.

Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will get a dose of Hollywood glamour in the Santa Barbara area on Saturday afternoon as celebrities including Orlando Bloom, Rosario Dawson and Zoe Saldana make the trek for a royal polo match.

Will is going to compete in a charity match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria in support of American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry

While Kate takes in the so-called American Riviera for the first time, she'll also have a taste of her homeland in the shape of Brits Alex Pettyfer and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, according to Us Weekly.

Can't wait to see what Kate will wear to hand out prizes to the winners -- and no, that Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who belongs to the club definitely will not be on standby during the match, despite his assertion that he'd been asked by the club to be ready just in case.

Tickets to watch the sold-out event were priced at $400 and $4,000 each, according to one report, with a spot on one of the three competing teams reportedly going for a charitable donation of around $100,000.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis will do the culinary honors.

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— Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wave goodbye to Canada from Calgary Airport on Friday. Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images.


William and Kate will bed down in Hancock Park during L.A. visit

British consul-general's residence is where Kate and William will stay while in L.A.

No Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow for the royals: While visiting L.A., Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will bed down at the Hancock Park residence of the British consul-general.

Don't plan on zipping over there Friday or Saturday night to sneak a peek at the newlyweds, however. Police have secured "trespass-prohibited letters" from people who live in seven homes around the residence of the British consul-general, allowing interlopers to be arrested on the spot.

The 1928 home, purchased by the British government in 1957, was designed by Southern California architect Wallace Neff and has been renovated over the years, with recent and future upgrades designed by Richard Chang Architects.

See more shots of the house on the RCA website -- with a hat tip to Curbed L.A.

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— Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will stay at the British consul-general's Hancock Park residence, photographed on Thursday. Photo credit: Charley Gallay / Getty Images.



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