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A Royal Fascination

Posted: 06/01/2011 7:22 pm

Before the last guests had left Prince William and Kate Middleton's evening reception, rumors were already swirling about their first official tour. St. James Palace definitely caused a buzz in Southern California when it announced that the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would head due south to Los Angeles after a weeklong tour of Canada. As a native Angeleno and Ambassador of Tourism for LA Inc., I was thrilled and not at all surprised about the newlyweds' choice of stopover. Having met and hosted royalty from around the world, I know firsthand they are as fascinated with Hollywood as we are with them.

My late husband Aaron always said, "People have two kinds of business: personal business and show business." His theory it seems even applied to royalty and proved itself true back in the mid-1980s when Dynasty was at the peak of its popularity all over the world. The palace in Monaco contacted ABC and requested a special tour of the Dynasty set for Prince Rainier and his three children; Princess Caroline, Princess Stephanie and Prince Albert. Aaron was of course very excited to oblige and arranged for the royal family to meet the primary cast on the sound stage.

It was around that time that I coincidentally became friendly with an English pastry chef who was also under the employ of Buckingham Palace. During one of his several visits to our home, he shared a story about another big fan of Dynasty -- Princess Diana. We were so tickled to learn that the Princess eagerly awaited reports on the lifestyles of Hollywood royalty and was exceptionally curious about how it compared to that of the Carrington family. One conclusion we came to on this side of the Atlantic was that, unlike the British monarchy, most of Hollywood's royal households do not have their own royal dairy farm.

Seventeen years ago, Prince Charles got to experience the Hollywood lifestyle first hand when he visited the City of Angels to raise money for one of his charities. My husband and I were fortunate enough to have hosted the dinner for 350 people in our home. Despite having met Queen Elizabeth years before at a party hosted by 20th Century Fox, I was absolutely nerve-wracked by the logistics of putting together the dinner for the Prince of Wales -- not to mention the detailed training in protocol and etiquette.

Unlike Prince Rainier, who was more guarded and formal, Prince Charles was warm and talked easily about a range of topics including the unique architecture in Los Angeles. Meeting both princes highlighted for me the striking similarities that exist between royalty and celebrities. Yes there are tremendous perks, but along with those come high expectations and a distinct lack of privacy. With 2 billion people already intrigued by the Duke and Duchess' fairy tale story, their first visit to the entertainment capital of the world is sure to ignite a media frenzy.

Despite most of Hollywood already clamoring to meet the royal couple, St. James Palace has yet to confirm their official itinerary. And amidst all the rumors of parties being thrown by moguls and Hollywood legends, only one detail has emerged that can be confirmed. The West Coast star the Duke and Duchess are most intrigued to see is not a member of one of television's first families but instead -- one of our famed and beautiful California Redwood trees. They won't be disappointed!

 

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