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Royal visit: British ambassador shares insight on trip

July 7, 2011 |  6:04 pm

D&D As Los Angeles readies for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Friday afternoon, other officials taking part in this weekend’s events are preparing for their own roles as hosts during the young royals’ whirlwind tour of Southern California.

In an interview Thursday at the residence of the British consul-general in Hancock Park, the British ambassador to the U.S., Sir Nigel Sheinwald, shed some additional light on the royal visit. Sheinwald, who flew in from Washington, D.C., for the weekend, said he believes William and Catherine will be well-received in Los Angeles, as they have been during their time in Canada.

“There’s a lot of local interest in L.A. and in Southern California in their visit, so I think they’re going to get a warm welcome,” he said, later adding: “I’m sure there’ll be a lot of interest and people will come to the venues that they’re at to try and get a glimpse of them. I’m sure a lot of people will see them one way or another in the course of the next few days.”

The royal itinerary will enable the couple to meet “a lot of different people from this part of California,” Sheinwald said.

After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, William and Catherine will attend a reception at the consul-general’s residence. Saturday features an afternoon charity polo match in Santa Barbara, followed by a black-tie dinner with Hollywood executives and British talent in downtown Los Angeles. On Sunday, the final day of the trip, the royal couple will meet children at the Inner-City Arts school on skid row, and military families at a job fair for veterans at Sony Studios.

All of the events, Sheinwald said, reflect issues important to the duke and duchess, and are examples of why they chose to visit Los Angeles as part of their first official royal tour.

“The U.K.-California relationship in many ways exemplifies the best of the relationship between the United States and the U.K. We have a very, very close economic and business relationship.... There’s a huge amount of cultural connection, and we have a very close military alliance.

“All of these aspects of the relationship come through here in Los Angeles and here in California, which is why I think they were very, very keen to come here and to give the earliest possible expression of their commitment to U.K.-U.S. relations and to the human ties which have been developed over time,” he said.

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-- Kate Mather

Photo: Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, arrive by helicopter in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday for the final stop in their tour of Canada. Credit: Reuters

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