Royal couple on Skid Row

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, greets students as he arrives at Inner-City Arts academy during the royal tour of California in Los Angeles on Sunday.

LOS ANGELES -- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw Los Angeles's less-glamorous side Sunday when they visited an inner-city school in downtown's notorious Skid Row area.

Prince William and his wife Catherine were welcomed to the Inner City Arts academy by six elementary-aged children holding a welcome banner while a crowd of about 150 people cheered and looked on, some waving British and American flags.

Cynthia Harnisch, the academy's president and chief executive officer, spoke to the couple about Skid Row and the challenges of poverty and homelessness faced by many students at the school.

The duke and duchess were then escorted to a visual arts studio where they donned art smocks and sat at easels. Fifth-graders helped them create mandalas, a type of Buddhist painting.

Next, the couple went to the ceramics studio where children were working on parts of a giant tortoise. The duchess joined the students who were creating the tortoise's shell while the duke sat at another table where children were working on the reptile's body.

Skid Row stood in stark contrast to the more glitzy parts of Southern California that the couple has seen on their whirlwind visit.

On Saturday, William scored four goals at a charity polo match and earlier Sunday he attended a swanky reception to raise money for Tusk Trust, an African wildlife conservation group.

Their final stop before departing for the U.K. was with the group ServiceNation: Mission Serve, which aims to help veterans find jobs.