Prince William and Kate Middleton are coming to Los Angeles — and if recently leaked details are true, it appears that helping the homeless will be a part of their focus.
Earlier this weekend, CBS News posted an itinerary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's 11-day, 14,000-mile visit to the United States and Canada — their first official trip as a couple.
Those details were quickly yanked in what's being termed a "breach in protocol," but nevertheless, we now have a good idea of what they will be up to.
Security for the royal guests is expected to be massive, especially when you consider one of the areas they plan to visit: Los Angeles' notorious Skid Row.
The area of L.A., which has seen dramatic reductions in crime over the past several years, includes some 4,000 homeless people crammed into a 50-block area — one of the largest such populations in the United States. According to the itinerary, William and Kate will visit a mission at the heart of Skid Row.
“Supporting inner city outreach causes is one thing but actually setting foot in Skid Row is a very brave move by the young royals," charity expert Mike Raia told the U.K. Daily Star. “Parts of it are extremely squalid and dangerous. Seeing the army of vagrants and crazies who exist side by side is definitely not for the faint-hearted.”
Working to support the homeless is something close to Prince William's heart. Not only is he a patron of Centrepoint, the U.K. charity that helps youth to climb out of homelessness, but he also spent an evening in 2009 sleeping in a cold London alley to raise awareness for the group. "I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets," he said at the time.
Reaction to their visit is being praised as "brave" and "noble," with one L.A. Gang Squad Officer saying that the couple will shine a light on a group of people who are largely ignored.
Also on tap for William and Kate is a charity polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo Club (for which the prince is likely to use to raise funds for the conservation organization, Tusk Trust) and a black-tie dinner and champagne reception to promote the British Film Industry. A rumored visit to Yosemite National Park is also on the table.
The couple recently canceled a previously rumored meet-and-greet with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger due to his family issues. The exact date of their July visit has not been released.
To learn more about life on Skid Row, below is an episode of "Secret Millionaire" which shed light on the downtrodden area:
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