Royal couple heading back to UK
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have headed back home, following a non-stop weekend in California that included a few chukkers of polo, time with Hollywood's own version of royalty and several events that raised millions of dollars for charity
Their California stopover came at the end of a nine-day visit to Canada, the first tour Prince William and Kate have made since getting married in April.
The US portion of their travels was a somewhat low-key affair compared to their Canadian tour, where - French separatists aside - the duke and duchess were greeted with rapturous welcomes as they criss-crossed the Commonwealth country.
Excitement in the US was more muted, though small crowds of well-wishers waving British and American flags lined up to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds and well-heeled fans paid thousands of dollars to sip champagne in the couple's presence at a charity polo match in Santa Barbara on Saturday.
Disneyland, the Hollywood sign and the beaches were not on the couple's agenda, but the duke and duchess managed to see a sweeping sampling of the Los Angeles area.
They also attended a star-studded, black-tie soiree to promote British filmmaking talent where the guests included Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez. On Sunday, they paid a brief visit to Skid Row, downtown's gritty homeless core.
Many at the school were impressed by how down-to-earth and casual the couple were and said they put everyone at ease. "They were like your oldest friends and family," said Bob Bates, co-founder of Inner-City Arts. "The kids really took them to heart."
After attending a swanky reception to raise money for Tusk Trust, an African wildlife conservation group, their final stop before departing for home was with the group ServiceNation: Mission Serve, which aims to help veterans find jobs.
"All the companies and employers taking part today are providing opportunities which mean something very immediate and personal to us," said William, who is a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot. "Catherine and I both have friends back in Britain who could benefit from a brilliant initiative like this."
Before boarding their flight to London William took one last opportunity to thank their hosts, saying: "As this is my last opportunity before we leave this afternoon, I would just say, on behalf of us both, how grateful we are to have been welcomed so warmly in the Golden State and the City of Angels. Thank you so much."