Charles, Diana touch American soil


HONOLULU -- Prince Charles and Princess Diana took their first steps together in America today, receiving leis and kisses and shaking hands with well-wishers upon their arrival.

The royal couple arrived about midnight with an entourage of about 20 people aboard a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 707 at Hickam Air Force Base from a 15-day Australia tour.


They were to spend 18 hours relaxing before before heading off to Washington on their first joint official visit to the United States.

They were greeted by British Consul General and Mrs. Donald Ballentyne of Los Angeles and Col. and Mrs. Stanley Brubaker of Hickam Air Force Base. Charles and Diana both were given flowered leis and kisses by two women greeters employed by the state.

The royal couple walked to their waiting limousine, paused, then walked over to meet with a cheering crowd of about 250 well-wishers. They spent about five minutes walking down the row of people shaking hands and chatting. One bearded man gave Diana a kiss.

The Prince and Princess of Wales then entered their motorcade limousine for the trip to the Kahala Hilton Hotel on the island of Oahu where John Houlton, the British vice consul for information, said they would relax.


No public activities were scheduled before their departure for Washington.

'She said she likes the flowers and the people are nice,' said Stephanie Hockett of Honolulu, who was in the crowd when the royal couple came over, speaking of the future queen.

'They looked real happy,' she said.

Cindy Covington of Honolulu said Charles 'is very charming.'

People in the crowd were waving British flags, cheering and holding signs and banners. One sign read, 'Diana! You can be our princess too!'

Houlton identified some of the entourage as Diana's lady-in-waiting, which he described as a social secretary and friend, a maid and various secretaries.

It was the first visit to Hawaii for Diana, Houlton said. Charles last visited in 1974.

In Washington, the couple will attend a dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Reagan Saturday and visit 'The Treasures Houses of Britain' exhibition Sunday. Diana also will visit a drug rehabilitation center with Mrs. Reagan.

Their Royal Highnesses will travel on to Palm Beach, Fla. to attend a dinner for the United World College of the American West Tuesday before returning to London.

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