Kate Middleton and Prince William Arrive in California for Royal Visit

Prince William, Kate Middleton arrive in California.

July 7, 2011, 11:51 AM

July 8, 2011— -- California, here they are.

Prince William and Catherine Middleton touched down in Los Angeles today for a whirlwind weekend visit following their eight-day tour of Canada.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived this afternoon at Los Angeles International Airport, where they descended steps from their airplane and were greeted on the tarmac by a line of dignitaries including California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust, and British Ambassador Sir Nigel Elton Sheinwald.

Middleton wore a blue-gray drape dress, and Prince William wore a dark suit and purple tie.

After shaking hands and chatting briefly with the dignitaries, the royal couple got into a dark Range Rover with European-style plates and headed off in their motorcade onto the highways of Los Angeles.

SEE MORE: Kate Middleton's Best Fashion Moments

Even before they landed Friday afternoon royal fever had already struck Hollywood.

In anticipation of the crush of media and onlookers, police closed the street outside the British Consulate-General residence in Hancock Park, where the royal couple are staying during their visit.

Neighbors have also signed keep-away orders, giving police permission to arrest any paparazzi on the spot if they try to photograph the royals while on private property.

"Our primary concern is to protect the rights and privacy of the residents as well as the safety of the royal couple upon their visit here to the United States," LAPD spokeswoman Mitzi Fierro told the Los Angeles Times. "If they trespass on property where we have a signed trespass letter, they will be arrested immediately."

The couple's itinerary called for them to hit the ground running. The first item on their agenda was an evening business event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel supporting U.K. trade and investment.

Later, they were to shake hands with California politicians and other high-profile figures at a reception hosted by British Consul-General Dame Barbara Hay at her Hancock Park residence.

The 7,247-square-foot Mediterranean-style property, designed by renowned Los Angeles architect Wallace Neff, has seven bedrooms and bathrooms and is close to trendy West Hollywood.

Every year, Hay, who has held her position since 2009, hosts a celebrity reception for BritWeek, in April, the annual celebration of Brits in California.

The royal visit, however, is seen as a working visit, not as a time to mix with celebrities.

"The palace is really playing down any big introductions to A-list stars," ABC News royal correspondent Katie Nicholl said on "Good Morning America." "These tours are fun but hard work. It's really about forging ties between America and Great Britain."

The duke and duchess' closest brush to Hollywood royalty will come Saturday night at a red carpet, black-tie British Academy of Film and Television Arts dinner at L.A.'s Belasco Theatre.

Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks and Jack Black are expected to attend. Other bold-faced names reported by E! Online include Kristin Chenoweth, Ginnifer Goodwin, Dana Delany and Derek Hough from "Dancing with the Stars."

Prince William (who's also the president of BAFTA) will give a speech at the gala, which is focused on spotlighting emerging British talent and building partnerships between Hollywood and up-and-coming British actors.

Polo Playing and Philanthropy

Earlier, on Saturday, the duke is expected to play in a charity polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo Club to benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, while the duchess gives out the prizes.

This is probably the best opportunity for the general public to get a glimpse of the couple, since most other events on their schedule are private, invitation-only affairs.

But the Polo Club will cost you: $400 tickets for a spot in the stands and $4,000 for V.I.P. seats, which include a private lunch created by Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis.

The menu includes sweet corn lasagna with blistered tomatoes, pea pesto and beef tenderloin crostini.

Day three begins with more philanthropic work, starting with an event to support Tusk USA, an organization that raises funds for African wildlife.

Then the duke and duchess are to visit Inner-City Arts, an L.A. program that helps disadvantaged and homeless children through art. (This engagement is of particular concern to the duchess -- the palace noted that she's "extremely interested in how the arts can help young people unlock their potential.")

On their final afternoon in the States, they are scheduled to attend an event for military veterans transitioning to civilian life and their families at Sony Pictures Studios, where they'll help put together care packages. The event, titled "Hiring our Heroes Los Angeles, is hosted by ServiceNation: Mission Serve.

Then it's back across the pond to Britain for a much-needed rest.

ABC News' Michael S. James contributed to this report.