Royal couple descends on polo fields in Carpinteria
On the second day of the royal visit to the Southland, there was a hive of activity at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in Carpinteria, south of Santa Barbara, where the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge were set to attend a charity polo match.
By 10 a.m. below an overcast sky, a red carpet was rolled out in anticipation of the newlywed’s arrival. As a Bob Marley tune played over speakers, workers assembled cardboard trash bins and counted pieces of silverware on round lunch tables topped with white linens and silver vases of white peonies. Caterers set up large white tents next to the polo fields where they planned to serve lunch and cocktails to more than 1,250 people.
British sponsors of the event were setting off fancy displays to show off their wares. Royal Salute Scotch Whiskey set out full bottles of amber liquid next to rows of crystal tumblers. A deeply tan man in a lavender suit and white sneakers handed out gift bags filled with free T-shirts, while hundreds of media were taking their places on stands, waiting for the arrival of the first star-studded attendees.
Minutes later, celebrities and guests including actors Jennifer Love Hewitt and Billy Zane were streaming onto the manicured grounds of the club, while a coastal fog was beginning to lift from the Santa Ynez Mountains.
On the red carpet, various celebrities stopped to speak to media, one of whom was Giada De Laurentiis, a host for the Food Network, clad in a tight-fitting gray dress.
“We’re so relaxed in California, we don’t have titles,” she said.
Many of the women were dressed to the nines in stylish dresses and sun hats, including Rosario Dawson, who wore a simple black silk number.
So far, the couple has attended a technology conference in Beverly Hills and a private reception at the home of the British consul general in Hancock Park.
On Saturday night, the couple will head by helicopter from Carpinteria to Los Angeles to attend a black-tie dinner at the Belasco Theater. The event will be hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, of which William was named president in February 2010.
-- Catherine Saillant and Nicole Santa Cruz
Photo: Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge arrive Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. Credit: Catherine Saillant