Heralded by news helicopters that darted about the skies over Carpinteria and Montecito, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club on Saturday afternoon for a benefit luncheon and a charity polo match.

Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, were the guests of honor in Carpinteria for the day, which was a fundraiser for William’s nonprofit organization, The American Friends of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

The royal couple arrived by helicopter just after noon Saturday, and the newlyweds were cheered by hundreds of well-wishers who lined their route to the club.

VIP guests paid $4,000 apiece to attend the luncheon and tickets to the polo match started at $400. All of the proceeds are going to charity.

After lunch, William donned polo gear to participate in the match, whose contestants each ponied up $100,000 for the privilege to play the sport of kings with the heir to the British throne.

Later Saturday afternoon, the couple flew back to Los Angeles for a black-tie event hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts at the freshly restored Belasco Theater. William is the organization’s president.

On Sunday, the royals will visit a Skid Row children’s art center and meet with military veterans and their families before returning to England on Monday. Prior to their visit to Southern California, Kate’s first, they had been on a nine-day tour across Canada.

» Click here for a full report from Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker and a slideshow by photographer Nick St.Oegger.

» Click here for the Presidio Sports report on the polo match.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at wmacfadyen@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at wmacfadyen@noozhawk.com, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.