On their first overseas tour, the newly wed Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, traveled through Canada and the US. Apart from meeting with the usual celebrities and dignitaries, the royal couple made a point of experiencing the decidedly unaristocratic side of life during their stay in California.
While William and Kate spent the first two days of their US trip being fêted by Hollywood stars and business tycoons, they devoted the final day of the visit to raising awareness about inner-city life and the importance of supporting the men and women of the armed forces.
The royal couple first went to Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, an economically depressed area with a sizable homeless population, where they visited students enrolled in Inner-City Arts, a nonprofit providing free arts instruction to poor children. The royal couple participated in an art project alongside the kids and clapped along to a performance by a troupe of teenage dancers.
They next stopped at a job fair sponsored by Service Nation: Mission Serve, a group dedicated to finding employment for military veterans, where they met with organizers, gave a speech, and filled boxes for the children of soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.
PR Play rating:
3. On the right track
Although the British royal family may seem remote to most Americans, this effort to reach out to underprivileged and struggling citizens – in a country not their own – conveyed a down-to-earth, realistic image of the next generation of royals.
Their Los Angeles sojourn also helped drive home a message about some of William's key humanitarian concerns: aiding at-risk youth, supporting the arts, and providing for servicepeople.
The last leg of the couple's visit did much to dispel the notion of them being stuffy or detached from common life, with a barrage of positive press surrounding their stopover in Skid Row and praise from locals about their “regular” demeanor. As far as good PR moves go, this one is likely to boost the royals' reputation on both sides of the Atlantic.