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Prince William, Kate Duchess of Cambridge
Alastair Grant  /  AP
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, here at a recent charity event in London, will be the star attraction at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club party on July 9.
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updated 6/29/2011 10:54:25 AM ET 2011-06-29T14:54:25

It sounds like a bit of a racket: $4,000 for a three-course meal and a chance to see a polo match up close.

It gets better when you throw in the chance to rub shoulders with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in southern California, where bragging about having a glass of wine with the new royal couple may be the ultimate Hollywood glamour trip.

The charity event at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club will be one of the highlights of the first official overseas trip by Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, which kicks off Thursday in Canada and takes them later to southern California.

There's no doubt the athletic prince and his fashion-forward bride have star power to burn. So far, about 1,000 VIP tickets have been sold to the polo match along with about 400 general admission passes, raising nearly $4.4 million for the July 9 charity event. William plans to play in the match, and his wife will award the trophy to the winning team.

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"The members are thrilled to host the royal couple and the public's reaction to this special day and event has been fantastic," said club chairman Glen Holden, a former U.S. ambassador to Jamaica who said he has never seen anything like it in his 38 years with the exclusive polo club.

In Canada, William and Kate will join in raucous Canada Day celebrations, open the Calgary Stampede, and canoeing in the vast northwest territories. They will meet veterans and their families, as well as youth groups in several parts of the country.

William plans to demonstrate his skills as a helicopter rescue pilot by taking part in a water landing demonstration, and the couple also plan to put on aprons and take part in a cooking workshop in Quebec City.

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They jet to Los Angeles on July 8 and will host a gala dinner there the next night to introduce up-and-coming British film talent to Hollywood executives.

It doesn't take a foreign venue to spark interest in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the formal royal titles the newlyweds received from Queen Elizabeth II on their wedding day. Their first charity appearance, as guests of honor at a gala dinner in London earlier this month, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds (dollars) for a children's' charity and drew luminaries from Britain's film world.

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The couple even managed to use their wedding day as a way to raise more than 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) for 26 designated charities. They urged guests, and well-wishers around the world, to make contributions to the charities rather than give them presents.

The innovative tactic was successful in focusing public attention on a number of groups that are usually overlooked, said Gareth Harper, managing director of the Peace Players, a Northern Ireland charity that was among the charities singled out by the royal couple.

The group, which uses basketball to bring together people from both sides of Northern Ireland's religious and cultural divide, received several direct donations from people heeding the couple's charity call. President Barack Obama (a noted basketball fan) and his wife, Michelle, sent the charity six Apple computers.

"We were flabbergasted," said Harper of the surprise gift. He said the royal couple took an active interest in a pre-wedding meeting with the charity's leaders.

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"We don't know how we go on their list," Harper said. "We were very impressed by their knowledge of our program. They obviously had a hands-on role and they had a lot of enthusiasm for this initiative."

Palace officials said money donated to the central wedding charity fund will shortly be distributed to the 26 charities.

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Jessica Dallyn, fundraising director for Combat Stress, a charity that helps military veterans cope with stress-related ailments and other problems, said she expects to hear in the coming weeks how much the group will receive from the central fund.

She said the royal couple probably chose to back the group because it has received strong support for years from Prince Charles, William's father.

"Charles has been very pro-active, and I'm sure his commitment has been passed down to his sons," she said. "And I think Princess Diana's commitment would have had a huge impact on both of them."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Ceremony

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  1. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk hand in hand from Buckingham Palace the day after their wedding to a waiting helicopter. (John Stillwell / PA / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The wedding bouquet of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, lies on the grave of the unknown warrior in Westminster Abbey on April 30, 2011 in London, England. (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pose for an official photo with (left to right): Miss Grace van Cutsem, Miss Eliza Lopes, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HM The Queen, The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Louise Windsor, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton.

    Back Row (left to right): Master Tom Pettifer, HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Harry of Wales, Mr. Michael Middleton, Mrs. Michael Middleton, Mr. James Middleton, Miss Philippa Middleton, in the throne room at Buckingham Palace. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, pose for a photograph with (clockwise from bottom right): Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Tom Pettifer, and William Lowther-Pinkerton in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, following their wedding at Westminster Abbey. (Hugo Burnand / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The royal couple poses in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London. (Hugo Burnand / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Prince William and Princess Catherine take a spin outside Buckingham Palace in a convertible following their marriage. (Matt Dunham / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Members of the public gather along the Mall and around the Queen Victoria Memorial as they await Prince William and his wife Catherine's appearance. (Oli Scarff / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Prince William, who has been given the title of The Duke of Cambridge, greets Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her husband Tim Mathieson at Buckingham Palace in London after his wedding. (Ian West / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Prince William and his wife Catherine exit the 1902 State Landau carriage as they arrive at Buckingham Palace after their wedding in Westminster Abbey. (Andrew Winning / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Prince Charles makes the journey by carriage procession to Buckingham Palace following his son's wedding at Westminster Abbey. (Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Prince William and Princess Catherine approach Buckingham Palace by carriage procession following their marriage at Westminster Abbey. (Oli Scarff / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Rachel Jane Eardley and Diane Pallett put the finishing touches to the royal wedding cake, that Fiona Cairns and her team created for Prince William and Princess Catherine, in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace. (John Stillwell / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Thousands gathered outside the palace gates to witness the couples first public kiss as husband and wife. (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Prince William and his wife Catherine, now known as the duchess of Cambridge, wave from their open-topped carriage as they leave Westminster Abbey after their wedding ceremony. (Alastair Grant / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Prince William, duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, ride along The Mall to Buckingham Palace following their marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Best man Prince Harry rides with two of the bridesmaids and a page boy in an Ascot Landau carriage along the processional route to Buckingham Palace after his brother's wedding ceremony. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Prince William and Catherine greet the thousands of people gathered along the processional route as they make their way in the 1902 State Landau carriage to Buckingham Palace. (Damien Meyer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Prince William and his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge emerge from Westminster Abbey after their wedding ceremony. (Lewis Whyld / Pa / Pool / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Prince William's father Prince Charles stands with Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, after the wedding ceremony of their children. (Toby Melville / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip travel in a closed-top carriage along the processional route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. An aerial view of Westminster Abbey as bride Kate Middleton arrives on the hand of her father Michael Middleton. She was trailed by her sister and maid of honor, Pippa Middleton, as well as her bridesmaids and page boys. (Wpa Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Prince William puts the ring on the finger of his bride Catherine Middleton in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. The ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold. (Andrew Milligan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Guests at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton join the couple in singing hymns. (Wpa Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Catherine Middleton, holding the hand of her father Michael, gives her groom Prince William a big smile while joining him at the altar at the start of their wedding ceremony. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Kate Middleton walks to the alter with her father Michael. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Bride Kate Middleton walks down the aisle with her father Michael at Westminster Abbey, followed by her sister Philippa and other bridemaids. (Andrew Milligan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Page-boy Tom Pettifer laughs as he arrives at Westminster Abbey with William Lowther-Pinkerton, and bridesmaids Lady Louise Windsor and Margarita Armstrong-Jones for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Kate Middleton arrives with her sister Philippa Middleton at the West Door of Westminster Abbey in London for her wedding to Britain's Prince William. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Kate Middleton waves as she rides next to her father Michael in a Rolls Royce on their way to Westminster Abbey for her marriage to Britain's Prince William. (Tony Gentile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Maid of honor Philippa Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey for the wedding of her sister to Prince William. (Carl De Souza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Britain's Prince William waves as he arrives with his brother Prince Harry at the West Door of Westminster Abbey for his wedding, in London on Friday. (Odd Anderson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Beatrice of York arrive at Westminster Abbey to attend the royal wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with the Dean of Westminster as she arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Carole Middleton, the mother of Kate Middleton, arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey for the wedding of her daughter to Britain's Prince William. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrives at Westminster Abbey. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Anne, the Princess Royal, arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Prince William marries Kate Middleton in the wedding watched by millions around the world (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. David and Victoria Beckham arrive at Westminster Abbey to attend the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Beckham served as a soccer ambassador with Prince William in Britain's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam arrive at Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding. (Alastair Grant / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish are directed to their seats in Westminster Abbey. (Dominic Lipinska / PA Pool via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Military bands play in London's Parliament Square ahead of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (John Giles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. A marching band of guardsmen parades along The Mall before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (Dylan Martinez / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Guests arrive at Westminster Abbey in the hours before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton. (Phil Noble / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. The Right Reverend Dr. John Hall, Dean of Westminster holds the wedding program, titled the Order of Service, before the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk together in Buckingham Palace in central London
    John Stillwell / PA / Pool via Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (44) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Ceremony
  2. Image: Royal Wedding - The Newlyweds Greet Wellwishers From The Buckingham Palace Balcony
    Oli Scarff / Getty Images
    Slideshow (31) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Royal fans
  3. Image: Ex-pats In Kabul Watch Royal Wedding
    Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
    Slideshow (18) Will and Kate's royal wedding - World reaction
  4. Image: Police officers walk down The Mall before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in central London
    Dylan Martinez / Reuters
    Slideshow (9) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Security
  5. Image: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 10
    Chris Jackson / Getty Images
    Slideshow (131) Duchess Kate’s royal style

Video: Will and Kate stun at lavish event

  1. Closed captioning of: Will and Kate stun at lavish event

    >>> we are back at 7:47. they had a splashy wedding, a luxurious honeymoon. now it's time for william and kate to get down to their royal duties. janet shamlian is at buckingham palace with the latest on their debut at a flashy fundraiser last night. good morning to you.

    >> reporter: matt, good morning to you. it was a big night in london for the newlyweds. a glamorous fundraiser with a star-studded crowd, but no one was shining brighter than the dazzling duke and duchess . if london had an academy awards night this would be it. the fundraiser drew 900 well-heeled guests but all eyes were on just two. will and kate making a regal entrance before high society at their first black tie evening as husband and wife. they may not have known all the guests but the setting was more than familiar. the field just behind kensington palace where as a child, william would meet his parents' helicopter. in a few weeks it will become the couple's residence while in london . all eyes were on the new bride, tan and trim in a $6,000 gown by jenny packham. off the rack says the palace. a homerun say watchers.

    >> it was fantastic. she look eed as good as she did in april when she wowed the world as a young bride.

    >> reporter: no cheap seats here. tickets cost as much as $15,000, resulting in sniping as to whether the couple should have made this their social debut in tough financial times .

    >> it raises multi-millions of dollars for needy children across the world. it's a difficult balancing act for them.

    >> reporter: william announced his and harry's foundation would be joining forces with the charity and that his wife would be involved.

    >> it is in this spirit that my brother, catherine and i hope to use our philanthropy as a long-term catalyst for meaningful change.

    >> reporter: with william spoken for, what about harry? the younger prince seemed surprised when visiting an or hi hospital and asked by a veteran when he would be taking the plunge.

    >> when are you getting married, son?

    >> reporter: his response, not for a long time. oh, well. not looking good for chelsea davy . they have the trooping of the color this weekend and a charity polo match on sunday. back to you.

    >> not for a long time, he says. we'll put up the countdown clock in the corner in a few days here. keep an eye out.

    >> i bet.

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