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Conservative leader Stephen Harper speaks during a campaign stop in Royal Oak, B.C., Sunday April 24, 2011 (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
Conservative leader Stephen Harper speaks during a campaign stop in Royal Oak, B.C., Sunday April 24, 2011 (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Canada to give royal couple hiking gear and charitable donation Add to ...

Canada is marking the nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton with a gift of hiking gear and a charitable donation.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, who declined an invitation to the much-anticipated royal wedding because of the federal election campaign, announced that Ottawa would make a $50,000 donation to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, a charity selected by the couple.

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Mr. Harper and his wife Laureen will also give the couple hiking gear, said Nina Chiarelli, a spokeswoman for Mr. Harper. She said Mrs. Harper plans to select the equipment and that the Harpers would personally present the gift to the newlyweds during their visit to Canada this summer.

"It was chosen in the hope that the royal couple … may be able to use it when they visit Canada on their first official royal tour later this summer and enjoy the splendour of Canada," Ms. Chiarelli said.

Prince William and Ms. Middleton are scheduled to travel to Canada from June 30 to July 8. They are to visit Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and the Ottawa area.

Governor-General David Johnston and his wife Sharon are attending Friday's royal wedding.

Previous Canadian wedding gifts to royal couples have also had an outdoorsy theme.

Then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau commissioned a canoe to mark the marriage of Prince William's parents in 1981. For Prince Charles's second wedding, to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005, Canada offered a wooden garden bench. And when Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, Canada's present included two parkas from the Northwest Territories.

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