William and Kate to visit seven cities in Canada
Prince William and his new bride Catherine will visit Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Calgary from June 30 to July 8, the government said Monday.
A full itinerary for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first trip abroad as newlyweds is still being developed, but Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore outlined some highlights of their tour at a press conference.
In Ottawa the couple will celebrate Canada Day and in Calgary they are to attend the opening of the city's Stampede rodeo, exhibition and festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year.
According to reports, the duchess is a fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery's book Anne of Green Gables, which is set in Prince Edward Island, and so she may visit those sites while William, a search and rescue pilot, takes a Coast Guard helicopter out for a whirl.
In Quebec, security will be beefed up for their visit, Moore noted, as Quebec nationalists are expected to protest the royals' stop in the mostly French-speaking province.
The entire visit will cost Canadian taxpayers just under two million dollars, he added.
"Canadians hold the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in very high esteem and look forward to welcoming them as they embark on their first official royal tour as newlyweds," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.
"The couple's decision to visit Canada first is a testament to our country's close relationship with the Crown and royal family, and an opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our traditions, history, and institutions."
"I am confident that, in coming to know this country and its people better, the Duke and Duchess will develop their own enduring bonds of affection for Canada and Canadians as has been the case with Her Majesty The Queen over sixty years, which began with her own very first tour as Princess Elizabeth at the age of 25 in 1951."
William, 28, is in line after his father Prince Charles to the throne for the 16 Commonwealth realms, including Britain, Canada Australia and New Zealand.
After Canada, the couple will travel to California in July.
© 2011 AFP