To the screams of hundreds of fans and an explosion of camera flashes, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought glamour, grace and star power to a Los Angeles gala Saturday night.
After a day at the polo fields in Santa Barbara, the royal newlyweds donned formal wear – Kate in a lilac Alexander McQueen gown and earrings borrowed from the Queen, William in a classic black tux – and swept down the red carpet at the BAFTA Brits to Watch event.
"In terms of pure star quality, William and Kate are the biggest stars in the world," said Piers Morgan, among the invited guests at what became the hottest ticket in Hollywood. "The impact they've had on Hollywood, which houses the biggest stars in the world, shows you that they are."
How impressed were the celebrities?
In a town where your worth is gauged by how late you get to show up, the biggest names in the movie industry made sure they arrived early – well before the 8 p.m. start time.
The ArrivalAt 8:04 p.m., the motorcade arrived with police motorcycles and squad cars, followed by a black Range Rover. Kate emerged from the rear passenger seat and William from the rear driver's side seat.
They waved to the shrieking crowd behind them, met an event official and walked down the carpet to meet a small group of selected fans.
As they walked into the foyer of the theater, William gave his wife a gentle touch on her left arm in guidance.
The couple were introduced to the 14 table hosts downstairs while upstairs in the ballroom, Duncan Kenworthy, vice chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts – of which Prince William is the president – helped the celebrity-packed audience feel comfortable around royalty.
A Lesson in Manners"They want to meet all of you. They will try and chat to all of you this evening," he told guests. "When you meet them, you don't have to bow and curtsy. You can call them whatever you feel: 'Your Royal Highness,' 'Sir,' 'Ma'am,' 'William' and 'Kate' – just as the mood takes you."
The best seats in house – at the silver table with the royal couple – went to Nicole Kidman, Barbra Streisand and husband James Brolin, along with studio executives and diplomats.
Also attending were Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, Jennifer Garner, Dana Delany, Elizabeth Moss, Marie Louise Parker, Kristin Chenoweth, Jason Bateman, Elizabeth Banks, Jack Black, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Jonah Hill and Chris Evans.
Reporting by OLIVER JONES, SIMON PERRY and JESSICA WEDEMEYER