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posted: 7/1/2011 11:00 AM

Prince William, Kate charm Canada on royal visit

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  • Prince William and wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with people at a youth event in Ottawa, Ontario, on Thursday.

      Prince William and wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with people at a youth event in Ottawa, Ontario, on Thursday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

OTTAWA, Ontario -- Prince William and Kate will take part in Canada Day celebrations Friday as the royal newlyweds continue a nine-day jaunt through Canada on their first official overseas trip.

The country's birthday celebration will include a concert and a speech by the prince. The couple also will hand out flags to newly minted Canadians at a citizenship ceremony earlier in the day.

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Friday also would have been the 50th birthday of William's mother, Princess Diana, who died in a 1997 Paris car crash. In London, her admirers gathered to leave gifts outside Kensington Palace, which was her official residence.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as William and Kate are formally known, arrived Thursday to cheering crowds of thousands. Poised and confident, they thrilled crowds with warm, unscripted gestures, wading into throngs of well-wishers to shake hands and accept flowers and other gifts.

To cheers of delight, William addressed his hosts in both English and French, then cracked a joke about his language skills. "It will improve as we go on," the prince quipped, then noted how much he and Kate were "truly looking forward to this adventure."

"They are beautiful together, like a fairy tale," gushed 15-year-old Daphnee Dubouchet-Olshesh, who was in the crowd with her mother. "He just sounded so cute and adorable with his English accent. He did pretty good with his French."

The royal pair then headed straight to the National War Memorial, where they were met by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen. Each laid a wreath before stepping into the crowd to speak individually with veterans.

Stunning in tan stilettos and a figure-hugging navy scoop-backed dress with a lace overlay by Canadian designer Erdem Moralioglu, Kate was greeted with cheers of "We want Kate!" at every stop. William wore a blue suit with burgundy tie.

Later, the couple attended a reception for young Canadians. It was billed as a celebration barbecue but it was brought inside due to rain.

During the visit, William, a helicopter pilot, will take part in a water landing demonstration, and the couple is scheduled to put on aprons and take part in a cooking workshop in Quebec City. They also will open the world-renowned Calgary Stampede.

The prince and his wife have star power to burn, and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore predicted this will be the most-watched royal tour in Canada's history.

Earlier in the week, Harper unveiled a personal flag for William's visit -- the first to be created by Canada for a member of the royal family since 1962, when the queen adopted a personal flag for her own use in Canada.

Some anti-royal protests were expected in the French-speaking province of Quebec, with small groups planning protests in Quebec City and Montreal.

The prince and Kate jet to Los Angeles on July 8 and will host a gala dinner there the next night to introduce up-and-coming British film talent to Hollywood executives.

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