Photo Credit: Mark Large - Pool/Getty Images
It's not often that Hollywood royalty meets actual royalty! That's what happened on Saturday, when Prince William and Kate Middleton attended a black-tie Hollywood event sponsored by BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts). Dressed to red-carpet perfection in a lilac Alexander McQueen gown and sparkly earrings (borrowed from Queen Elizabeth, naturally!), the new Duchess of Cambridge wowed celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand. But first, the Americans were reassured that they didn't have to mind their manners too closely.
"When you meet them, you don't have to bow and curtsy," the vice chairman of BAFTA explained to the 250 guests. "You can call them whatever you feel. Your Royal Highness, sir, ma'am, William and Kate, just as the mood takes you. They are here to have fun. They are really relaxed, as I'm sure you are."
When Kate and William, both 29, arrived, the Hollywood stars couldn't stop gushing about them.
"They make me smile," Nicole Kidman, who shared a table with Wills and Kate at the event, told USA Today. "I love them."
"I tend to hug people if I'm nervous," said actor Paul Rudd, concerned about his first impression. "Or kiss them on the cheek. When it's awkward, I fall into that trap a lot."
Actor Jason Bateman, on the other hand, felt right at home with the royals. "They seem like a very nice, young, normal couple," he observed.
Other guests at the exclusive event included Jennifer Garner, Blake Lively, Mary-Louise Parker, Zooey Deschanel and Jack Black. In addition to those with invitations, hundreds of fans waited outside the theater for a rare glimpse of the royal couple on American soil. The Duke and Duchess even took a moment to greet a group of young fans who had been camping out all day.
"I am a huge royal fan," said Chandler Rabens, 21. "I told William he was the luckiest guy in the world because Kate looked so beautiful, and he said, 'I know!'"
The next day, the royal couple headed out to a very different sort of event: a tour of the Inner City Arts Academy on Skid Row. They flew back to London Sunday afternoon, making the trip across the Pond on a commercial flight as opposed to a private jet. Classy move, Kate and William!