William and Kate expected to dazzle in Hollywood

Thu Jul 7, 2011 8:15am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Prince William and his new wife, Kate, make their debut on the world's largest celebrity stage on Friday with a brief California visit that combines the glitz of Hollywood with the grit of Skid Row in Los Angeles.

In a town stuffed with A-list stars, William and Kate already shine the brightest and their three-day trip to Los Angeles has sent celebrity media into a frenzy.

"We have never had a royal couple that have so much celebrity as these two. American girls are obsessed with Kate Middleton -- what she wears, what she does and the fact she was an ordinary girl who managed to bag a prince," said Melissa Bromley, West Coast bureau chief of Us Weekly magazine.

Searches on Yahoo! for the royal newlyweds are up 354 percent this week, fueled by their much photographed first overseas visit to Canada, the online search engine said.

But with Britain in the middle of an austerity drive, William and Kate will keep a lid on the celebrity side of the U.S. visit while elevating the charity work.

"If they came to Hollywood and had dinner with Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise and hung out with David and Victoria Beckham and then went shoe shopping, that is definitely something they would be criticized for," Bromley told Reuters.

That royal restraint, however, hasn't stopped Los Angeles entertainment news outlets from airing special royal features three days ahead of their Friday arrival in Los Angeles.

And the California tourist board capitalized on the visit to run promotions for the state's castles, and other tourist attractions, that are "fit for a king."   Continued...

<p>Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a session of Youth Parliament at the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife, Canada July 5, 2011. Photograph taken on July 5, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool</p>