Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kate-mania! Thousands of cheering Canadians greet the smiling Duchess as Royal newlyweds begin their tour of North America

-Thousands of cheering fans turn out to welcome the Royal couple to Ottawa
-Kate looks poised and natural as she laughs and smiles with the crowds
-Prince William flits between English and French in touching speech at welcome event

By Rebecca English, Fiona Roberts and Richard Hartley-parkinson

Elegant: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk down the steps of the Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft after they landed in blustery Ottawa this afternoon

Beaming broadly, a picture-perfect Duke and Duchess of Cambridge touched down in Ottawa this afternoon to be greeted by thousands of Royal fans as they began their first official Royal tour together.

Kate looked elegant and graceful despite the blustery conditions, and concealed any nerves on this, her first major test as a fully-fledged member of the Royal family, with a wide smile.

The newlywed couple were greeted by a host of dignitaries and a wall of photographers as they stepped on to the gusty runway, before being driven to the city centre where crowds had been gathering to meet the couple since early this morning.

They were formally greeted at the airport by the Canadian Foreign Minister. The Duchess accepted a posy from a young boy on the tarmac and chatted to him for some time before moving along the line of dignitaries as William waited for a few moments in their car.

It was adorned with a special flag created in their honour by Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper - the first to be designed by the Commonwealth country for a member of the royal family since 1962.

The flag was given Prince William’s seal of approval and that of the Queen, who was the last royal to adopt one for her own use.

The Duchess had transformed herself during the seven hour flight from London, and was wearing a dress by the hugely fashionable designer Erdem Moralioglu, favoured by Samantha Cameron and Michelle Obama. Erdem is another Canadian designer born in Montreal.

A natural: The Duchess of Cambridge stayed poised and elegant despite the windy conditions, with her hair in a demi-chignon, and again displayed her affection for children as she spent several minutes talking to Kellen Schlever, who presented her with a beautiful posy of pink roses

At ease: Kate smiles as she receives flowers from the Royal fans who lined up to meet the newlyweds at Ottawa's Macdonald-Cartier International Airport today. Tomorrow they will take part in National Canada Day

The dress was a navy, lace Cecile shift scoop-backed dress of contrast stone crepe with a navy lace overlay. The dress has a sheer lace sleeve with a scallop detail.

She sported the same nude LK Bennett £175 heels she has sported on several occasions recently. Her hairdresser, James Pryce, had also swept her hair back in a 'half up, half down' do to account for the slight breeze.

After their official welcome, they headed straight for the National War Memorial in the centre of the city.

As the couple's official car drew up along the red carpet, they were greeted by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen.

The 10,000 strong crowd, waving Canadian flags and flowers, cheered wildly as they stepped out. Tanned Kate looked particularly delighted at the warm reception and waved shyly.

Quick change: The Duchess of Cambridge boarded the plane at Heathrow in a navy-blue Roland Mouret dress, but by the time she landed she'd changed into an outfit by Erdem Moralıoglu, a Montreal-born designer, in a carefully-chosen nod to her Canadian hosts. She teamed it with nude heels and a matching clutch bag

The foursome approached the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and stood in quiet contemplation as the Last Post was played by a lone trumpeter.

William then placed a large wreath on the monument while his wife leant forwards to put down a small posey. The duchess warmly greeted the woman who had handed it to her, Mabel Girouard.

Mrs Girouard's son Bobby, 46, was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in 2006. She was chosen by the Canadian Legion as their Memorial Silver Cross Mother.

As they left the memorial the couple undertook what will be the first of many walkabouts, sending the crowd into a frenzy. There were as many screams for William as there were for Kate.

The Duchess looked delighted as she was handed armfuls of flowers and gifts.'Thank you so much. We are so delighted to be here,' she said.

Official welcome: The Royal couple shake hands with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird

Great honour: A special flag created for the young Royal couple flew from the bonnet of their car.
It's the first new flag to be designed by a Commonwealth country for a member of the Royal family since 1962. Right, the Prince's standard was waved from the Canadian Air Force plane as the couple landed

Pleased to meet you: A line of dignitaries waits to meet the Duchess of Cambridge as she steps on to the tarmac at a blustery Ottawa airport

Occasionally she looked over to her husband on the other side of the crowd to make sure she was moving quickly enough.

William looked equally thrilled as one woman told him;'Canada is so happy you are here.' 'Thank you, that is so kind,' he replied.

As she waited for the prince to finish Kate chatted with the Prime Minister and his wife and told them: 'That was so amazing, there were so many people there.... How many do you think?

'We have been on the go since 7.30 this morning so it's been a long day.'

Then, as the couple got into their official car, her first test over, Kate leant into her husband's shoulder and grinned broadly with undisguised relief.

But the new Duchess only had a brief respite before the couple were driven to Ottawa's Rideau Hall, the governor general's residence, for an official welcome event.

Prince William charmed the crowd by flitting between English and French, as Kate looked on admiringly.

He joked: 'It will improve as we go on,' and continued: 'Catherine and I are so delighted to be here in Canada.

'Instilled in us by our parents and grandparents, who love this country, we have been looking forward to this moment for a very long time – and before we were married, we had a longing to come here together.

'The geography of Canada is unsurpassed and is famous for being matched only by the hospitality of its people. We are so very excited about having this opportunity to experience both – and learn much more about this amazing country.'

Among those who turned out the greet the Royal couple was Jennifer Baldwin, 19, who drove for 21 hours from her home in Bloomington, Illinois, and stood in the street from 5.30am to see the couple at close quarters.

She said: 'I talked to William and congratulated him on the wedding and he said "thank you very much", he's so polite! My mum told him we had come from the U.S. and he said: "We're going there next".

'It was completely worth the journey just for that five seconds. I mean, I shook his hand!'

Francine Dorion, 50, gave the Duchess a tapestry she had made, featuring a picture of the couple kissing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day.

She said: 'Kate said it was beautiful and thanked me for doing it for them. She is so pretty and reminds me of Diana. She just steals you.'

Tomorrow they will take part in Canada Day - a special day for William as it would have been his mother's 50th birthday. They will be opening the Calgary Stampede and canoeing in the Northwest Territories before flying to Los Angeles.

Solemn: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a sombre start to their official tour with a visit to the Canadian War Memorial. Flanked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen, they pause for a moment of silence

Respectful: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge each laid a wreath at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa this afternoon

Thoughtful: Kate lays a bouquet of red roses at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Ottawa

Graceful: Kate bobs down to lay the bouquet on the steps of the tomb

Respectful: Kate bows her head alongside her husband for a moment's silence

During the visit, Prince William will demonstrate his skills as a helicopter rescue pilot by performing a water landing. Later, they will head to Quebec City where they will don their aprons for a cooking workshop.

Tomorrow they will mark Canada Day and after their week-long tour of Canada they will jet to LA to host a gala dinner.

There, they will promote up-and-coming British film talent by introducing them to Hollywood executives.

The south Californian trip will include a $4,000-a-head three-course meal and charity polo match, giving revellers an opportunity to get close to the Duke and Duchess.

Admiring glances: Kate looks relaxed and elegant as she walks by war veterans in Ottawa, and right, she signs the guest book as William waits his turn

Tribute: Prince William inspects a Canadian Forces guard of honour, left, and right, the note - in French and English - he left on the tomb of the unknown soldier

The Mail can also reveal that the Queen has given the new Duchess the pick of her fabulous collection of jewels for the 11-day trip.

The monarch, who is said to be extremely fond of her grandson’s new bride, wants Kate to shine on her first major test as a member of the Royal Family.

A few weeks ago she invited the 29-year-old Duchess into Buckingham Palace to choose from her priceless collection of tiaras, necklaces and bracelets, and she picked out one or two pieces to borrow.

While Kate is said to be ‘excited beyond belief’ at the prospect of the hugely anticipated tour, she is also keen not to overshadow her new husband, the Mail understands.

Picture perfect: The Duchess has already mastered the Royal wave, and both she and Prince William beamed as they greeted the crowds

Fans of all ages: The prince holds a little boy's hand as he is lifted up to say hello, left, and greets a war veteran, right

It is one of the reasons she has chosen not to make any public speeches during the trip, while the Duke will make several.

In this she appears to have learnt a lesson from the experience of Princess Diana, who repeatedly stole the limelight from her then husband, Prince Charles, and in doing so unwittingly drove a wedge between them.

The prince would become particularly frustrated when, during official walkabouts, the crowds would groan and call for Diana when he approached them.

Walkabouts will be a particular feature of the Canadian leg of William and Kate’ s trip as they attempt to meet as many of their future subjects as possible.

Their arrival in the Commonwealth country, where the Queen is still sovereign, is eagerly anticipated, with frenzied minute-by-minute television coverage.

Overwhelming affection: The Duchess looks ecstatic as she shakes hand with the crowd and clutches bunches of flowers presented by Royal fans lining the streets

Happy to be here: The Duchess of Cambridge laughs as her husband gives a speech, left, and pauses for a moment to smell one of her many bouquets, right

Popular princess: Kate bobs down to accept flowers from two little girls, left, and beams ecstatically as she shakes hands with fans

Mobbed: Prince William almost disappears beneath a sea of Royal fans wielding cameras. One woman even seemed to be wearing a replica of his wife's engagement ring

Each public appearance is expected to draw thousands of well-wishers on to the streets and large crowds gathered from early yesterday keen to meet the glamorous young newly-weds.

Some anti-royal protests are, however, expected later in the week in the French-speaking provinces, with small republican groups planning protests in Quebec City and Montreal.

‘This visit is really a battle for the hearts and minds of Canadian as to what to do down the road about the head of state in Canada,’ said University of Ottawa History Professor Michael Behiels.

They had no fears about winning over Joyce Udell, 57, a diplomat with the Canadian Government, had delayed travelling home to St John's in Newfoundland in order to see the couple.

Official welcome: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Rideau Hall, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife look on as Kate accepts more flowers

Poise: The Duchess of Cambridge beams as she and her husband arrive at Rideau Hall, and right, she is at ease chatting to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

She said: 'I don't like to use the word admire but I like her style, I like both their styles, they're not as ostentatious as some in the royal family.

'Kate, she reinvents herself with her clothes and wears the same dress twice - which the royals don't do.

'They are going to be a fabulous king and queen in the future. They are obviously in love and I think that's where their strength lies.'

Cherie Gray, 50, a by-law enforcement officer from the town of Manitouwadge, Ontario had made a six-hour detour while on holiday in the national province with husband David, 51, to see the royal couple.

She said: 'We're so excited to be here and hopefully to meet Kate - she brings a new revival to the royal family and represents the younger generation.'


June 30-July 2: The National Capital Region (Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec)

The Duke and Duchess will take part in Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on July 1

July 2: Montreal

The pair will be in town for the final Saturday of the Montreal Jazz Festival

July 3: Quebec City

William and Catherine will spend the day in Quebec City, before moving on to Charlottetown

July 3-4: Prince Edward Island

The Duchess is apparently a fan of Anne of Green Gables, a book set in Prince Edward Island and written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, which might explain this stop off

July 4-6: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
July 6-8: Calgary, Alberta

William and Catherine will be in town for one of Calgary's biggest annual events, The Calgary Stampede on July 8, but it is unlikely that they will attend the rodeo

July 8: Los Angeles, United States

During their three-day visit to California, the royal couple will stay at the British consul-general's residence in the historic Hancock Park district of Los Angeles

On Friday night the couple will be the guests of honor at a Consular-General Reception held by the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

July 9: Los Angeles, United States

In the afternoon, Prince William is expected to play at the Santa Barbara Polo Club in a charity match - the Foundation Polo Cup - to benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry with the Duchess presenting the winners' trophy.

That evening, Catherine and William will attend a reception and dinner at the 1926 Belasco Theatre in downtown LA put on by the BAFTAs

July 10: Los Angeles, United States

On Sunday, the couple will visit the Inner-City Arts School, an organisation helping children from a deprived neighbourhood in downtown L.A.

They will then go to Culver City's Sony Studios, where they'll visit the Service Nation: Mission Serve job fair.

Catherine and William will fly back to the UK from LAX

source: dailymail

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