Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Royal snail: Kate races ahead with her painting at Inner-City Arts campus whilst William is slow off the mark
Full steam ahead: Kate cracks on with her drawing at the Inner-City Arts centre, whilst William is slow off the mark, and looks as if he is asking for some advice on how to start his campus creation
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left their mark on Los Angeles yesterday as they made imprints of their hands in clay.
The couple were visiting Inner-City Arts, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1989, which helps underprivileged children in the city’s Skid Row neighbourhood, to develop through the arts.
Just like the stars who leave their marks outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Kate and William gamely put their hands in blocks of clay and then signed them instead of writing in a visitor’s book.
Greeted with a smile: Prince William greets students as he arrives at Inner-City Arts during the royal tour of California in Los Angeles
Up close: Kate takes an interest in the design of the bird as she is welcomed to the arts academy
The tiles will be glazed by students, fired in their kilns and then installed in one of the campus walls.
Kate kept her priceless diamond and sapphire engagement ring on throughout the exercise.
Her first effort barely left an imprint prompting her husband to tease her: ‘Come on, come on. Do it properly’ before showing her his. ‘Now that’s an imprint.’
As they made their second mark, William looked over to his wife and rolled his eyes. ‘Come on do it again a little harder,’ he joked.
All smiles: Kate took time out to have a chat to one of the academy's welcome brigade
For their last effort the couple did a joint imprint, putting their hands over each other to push down. As they did so the pair started play fighting, trying to push each other out of the way.
Afterwards they washed their hands in the sink and Kate patted away at the prince’s trousers, desperately trying to get some of the clay off his Saville Row suit.
‘Oh well, it’s my own fault. I should have put an apron on like you,’ he remarked to Kate , who had sensibly put a black apron on over her navy and white crochet top and white pleated skirt by High Street store Whistles.
All ears: William leans in to find out a bit more about the work the children do in the school
Earlier the couple had sat down with students from a ceramics class and helped them to make a giant tortoise out of clay.
‘Brilliant,’ said William, who was being helped by Jeysey Aguilar, eight, ‘really impressive.’
Kate chatted easily with another group of youngsters who were working on the tortoise’s shell.
‘Do you play computer games?’ she asked one child, who replied that they did. ‘You should talk to William, he plays them all the time.’
Happy times: Any hint of nerves Kate may have displayed on the way into the Inner-City Arts school were soon left behind as she really got into the swing of things, including making handprints in clay complete with wedding ring intact
The area the couple visited is one of the most deprived in the city and is known as the homeless capital of the world.
In a 50 square mile block there are more than 4,000 homeless people of which at least 1,000 sleep rough on the streets each night.
Some 30,000 ‘at risk’ children live within a 2.5 mile radius of Inner City Arts, 90 per cent of which live below the poverty line.
As the couple drove through the streets they saw men and women pulling shopping trolleys containing their scant belonging and tents erected on the sidewalk.
Model student: William was tasked to build a part of a giant tortoise, with students Bianca Rodriguez (centre) and Elliana Rojas during his visit
Keep on smiling: Kate showed the same level of enthusiasm for the ceramics class as she has for the whole of the royal visit
Inner-City Arts delivers instruction in dance, drama, music, ceramics, visual and media arts to more than 10,000 children and young people every year.
Its interests complement those of British homeless charity Centrepoint, of which the prince is patron.
The charity’s CEO, Seyi Obakin, has spent several days in Los Angeles exploring future collaboration with the organisation.
Additionally, Inner-City Arts will be participating in the British Council and Royal Shakespeare Company’s International Shakespeare Challenge, which will engage teachers and students in studying and performing Shakespeare.
The objectives of the visit were to learn about the extent of homelessness and associated issues that affect children, their families and communities in one of the most deprived areas of Los Angeles.
Back to school: Kate talks with a child during a tour of the downtown LA academy as she gets to know a bit more about the school
Making a mark: William gets down to business as he starts to paint, with Kate shielding her work behind
Ahead of the visit, a colourful collection of characters had gathered outside the Inner-City Arts centre in downtown Los Angeles an hour before the royals arrived eager for a glimpse of the dazzling couple on Skid Row.
One of the poorest areas of LA, drug addicts and homeless people are a more common sight than royalty on Skid Row so the visit has caused a buzz of excitement for locals.
In a sharp contrast to the glitz and glamour of the polo match and the BAFTA black tie dinner, the crowd gathered outside a 99 Cent store market in a neighbourhood full of warehouses, Mexican food processing buildings, drug treatment centres and homeless shelters.
Patient: Bystanders await the arrival of Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to the Skid Row area of Los Angeles
Loyal fans: The scene in downtown LA is worlds apart from the glitz and glam the royals experienced at the BAFTAs show and after-party
The 25 degree heat and harsh surroundings didn’t dampened the crowd’s enthusiasm as they chanted 'Will and Kate' loudly.
The centre boasts a unique approach to arts education for students of all ages, many living in Los Angeles’ poorest neighbourhoods. Since it was founded in 1989, more than 150,000 children have had the chance to take part in visual arts, music, dance, drama, ceramics, digital photography and animation.
Expectant: Students at the Inner-City Arts Academy take a break in their preparations to welcome William and Kate
Excited: The art students had a busy few weeks in the lead-up as they get set to show off their handiwork
Open arms: The Mark Taper Center in LA is privileged enough to be getting a royal visit
Handiwork: The royal couple will be welcomed by handprints of the students at the Inner-City Arts centre
Earlier in the day, the couple attended a private brunch at LA studio executive and multi millionaire owner of the New York Giants football team Steve Tish's mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
The exclusive meet and greet was arranged by the producer of Forest Gump for just 20 high rolling supporters of The Tusk Trust, the African wildlife charity of which William is patron.
A St James Palace spokesman denied reports that the guests had paid $100,000 each to attended.
Welcome: Chief Executive of Tusk's Trust Charlie Mayhew talks as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception to mark the Launch of Tusk Trust's US Patron's Circle
'It was an informal brunch to give the Duke a chance to say thankyou to key supporters of the charity,' they said.
Afterwards the couple took part in an impromptu walkabout among Mr Tish's wealthy neighbours.
At the brunch were actresses Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner, the CEO of Disney and supermodel Linda Evangelista.
'It was an honor to open my home to TUSK for the launch of their US Patrons Circle," said OSCAR winning Film Producer and Philanthropist Steve Tisch.
Actress Catherine Keener speaks with Kate during the reception
Listen up: Reese Witherspoon was just one of the stars in attendance as William and Kate attended the launch of TUSK's US patron's circle