Will and Kate Head from Red Carpet to Skid Row

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Prince William paints a picture during a tour of the Inner City Arts campus on July 10, 2011 in the Skid Row section of Los Angeles

The royals traded the glitz for grit this afternoon in visiting a school in one of Los Angeles’ most impoverished areas.

Skid Row, a name oft-used in Hollywood to describe a run-down part of town, is actually the name of a Los Angeles neighborhood. And Skid Row’s residents today were lucky enough to have royalty roll through.

(PHOTOS: Will and Kate in North America)

Stepping out of their posh black Range Rover, they no doubt looked out of place. But William and Catherine put their charity tour at the forefront this morning with a tour of the Inner City Arts Academy, an arts school for poor children. The school’s students demonstrated their art prowess and even entreated the Duke and Duchess to join in. Naturally, Will and Kate slipped on black smocks and sat in front of blank canvases. William turned to his wife, asking: “Catherine, what are you supposed to do?” The 9-year-old kids followed his questions with a painting lesson for the two. And here we thought the royal couple was invincible.

The view of LA’s gritty side comes after a Saturday filled with activities reserved mainly for the elite. Prince William showed his sporty side in a Santa Barbara polo match, after which the couple headed to a star-studded film event last night at the posh Belasco Theater. With Catherine wearing McQueen and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman, the two were the guests of honor at the BAFTA “Brits to Watch” celebration.

But Sunday, they took in a heavy dose of reality before the party ended for good – they’ll be departing North America Sunday evening.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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