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Will and Kate, when in Los Angeles... why not do as the Angelenos do?

Will and Kate are visiting southern California this weekend. Will found time to play polo, but their loaded itinerary had little room for meeting Americans. Want to pencil in some mingling?

By Daniel B. Wood and Gloria GoodaleStaff writers / July 10, 2011

Britain's Prince William (L) rides at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club for a charity event held in support of the American Friends of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry in Santa Barbara, California on Saturday.

Alex Gallardo/Reuters


Los Angeles

In their visit to southern California this weekend, young royals Will and Kate partied with British film and TV actors, spent the night with a British diplomat, and played British-style polo on behalf of a charity devoted to the prince. That’s pretty much it, other than a quick visit to an arts school for low-income kids and to a jobs fair for veterans on Sunday before heading out of town.

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In case that itinerary leaves any doubt, the maiden voyage of these young Brits to their nation’s largest former colony is focusing “on supporting British interest in California through the prism of their own interests,” according to a release from St. James’s Palace.

In their efforts to support “British interest,” they visited a Consular-General reception “on behalf of United Kingdom Trade and Investment,” a black-tie dinner for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and a polo match to benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

Clearly, these newly-minted monarchs-in-waiting feel the breath of the British taxpayer on their young necks and desire to set a new standard of serious purpose for their royal existence. According to a palace spokesman quoted in the Huffington Post, "The couple view this as a working visit, not as an opportunity for them to meet celebrities."

Really? Humble, they may be, but Barbra Streisand and Tom Hanks, guests for the Saturday soiree, not celebs? But the real question is, does this British-first-and last approach really serve your best interests?

Let’s just call this the “When in Rome…” memo to Will and Kate.

No doubt, spontaneous hanging with the locals would be impossible, now, and probably forever. Security around the weekend residence is at a new high, with law enforcement champing at the bit to test three new untried anti-paparazzi laws enacted over the last few years. It’s hard to imagine how anything spontaneous could occur in this vise of protection. Nobody needs yet another faux-reality show, à la “Will and Kate plus 8 …million Angelenos.”

So how about a shift in perspective?


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