by Michael dEstries
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Smartly deciding to visit before next weekend’s hellscape, Prince William and Kate Middleton (aka, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) are set to touch down this evening in Los Angeles as part of their 11-day North American tour.

Much of the tour has been spent exploring Canada’s gorgeous wilderness and various cities and towns, but when in LA, fundraising will be the main course. And what I’m hearing so far is impressive to say the least.

First up is a charity polo match on Saturday, expected to raise almost $5M for Prince William and Prince Harry’s foundation – which supports various humanitarian and environmental causes. Players eager to go up against William in the sport are reportedly paying out as much as $100K each. A seat in the stands costs $400.

Saturday evening, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will host a black tie affair with a guest list that includes Tom Hanks, Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Quentin Tarantino, and others. Tables at the affair are reportedly $25K a piece, but it’s unclear if that cash will go to any specific charity as the purpose of the evening is mainly to spotlight the up and comings in the British film industry.

On Sunday morning, an exclusive brunch will be held at the home of billionaire Hollywood producer and New York Giants football team owner Steve Tisch. That small gathering will include some very deep pockets and will benefit exclusively the Tusk Trust, a conservation charity that works to protect African wildlife. According to a source quoted by the UK Daily Mail, a minimum fee to attend is $100K – with one person reportedly giving $500K for the privilege. From the newspaper:

Another source said the Tusk brunch will bring in more ‘serious’ multi-millionaires into the royal couple’s orbit. ‘There’s a hope that they’re genuinely interested in Africa and conservation. It’s not just the Hollywood glitterati whereas the polo – I hate to say – looks like it will be any riff raff with a wallet.’

After brunch, the couple will then head to LA’s Skid Row district, the nation’s homeless capital, to visit Inner-City Arts – a nonprofit academy that provides children from poverty-stricken neighborhoods free classes in visual and performing arts. From the AP:

“This is what’s going on outside their castle. They’re going to get a taste of what life is like for us,” said Jessica Cornejo, a 19-year-old member of a dance troupe that will be performing for the newlywed couple during their Sunday visit. “It’s the best way to end that royal trip.”

It’s hoped that Prince William and Kate Middleton may become a patron of the organization. Either way, it’s good to see both of them take advantage of the LA scene to invoke a bit of good for the world. Here’s to hoping people are inspired to give generously.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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