The party begins as soon as Prince William and his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive in Canada as they kick-off their nine-day tour at Rideau Hall with a good-old Canadian barbecue, Heritage Minister James Moore announced on Tuesday.
And Governor-General David Johnston added that everyone is welcome to the vice-regal manor on June 30th at 1 p.m. ET to welcome the couple.
“All are invited on the grounds,” the Governor-General said. “As they embark on this royal tour, their Royal Highnesses will have the unequal opportunity to visit communities across our wonderful country and witness what Canada is becoming as we move toward its 150th anniversary in 2017. Moving forward together is indeed a well-chosen theme for this tour.”
And moving forward is what William and Kate will be doing from June 30 to July 8. There appears to be little down-time in the itinerary for the newlywed couple, who chose to make Canada their first destination for an official visit after their April wedding.
Their official itinerary was announced in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting seven cities in five provinces over nine days – a tour Mr. Moore says will cost a little less than half of the $2.5-million for the Queen’s tour last year.
This is the third visit by British royalty in the past 18 months. But given the celebrity status of the couple, this visit is attracting world-wide attention.
Mr. Moore noted that so far there are 1,300 accredited journalists for the visit compared with 848 who were accredited for the Queen’s trip. In addition there are 241 journalists from outside of Canada – including media from China, India, Japan and Qatar – compared to 20 for last year’s royal tour.
William and Kate's visit concentrates on their youthfulness. They are to meet with a many young Canadians, attend the noon-hour concert on Parliament Hill on Canada Day, visit a children’s hospital in Montreal, watch a dragon boat race and participate in “beach activities” at Prince Edward Island’s Dalvay by the Sea.
But the tour also puts a focus on Canada’s history, its landscape and its military.
The couple will visit with veterans, war brides and their families at the Canadian War Museum on July 2. They will go to the Citadelle in Quebec City and in Charlottetown they will visit Province House, the birthplace of Confederation.
In addition, they will watch a search-and-rescue demonstration in Summerside – a familiar exercise for Prince William, is a search-and-rescue pilot himself. In Yellowknife they will attend a session of Youth Parliament and then depart by float plane for Blachford Lake, where they will meet with Canadian Rangers, students and elders.
In Calgary, their last stop before they head off to Los Angeles, the couple will officially launch the Calgary Stampede parade. They will also visit the Calgary Zoo and tour an environmental project.
Throughout the speech, Prince William will also offer speeches and remarks to Canadians. Kate, however, is not scheduled to speak publicly.