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'Kate-mania' draws huge crowd to Canada Day in Ottawa Add to ...

This is Day 2 of the royal tour and it's one of the most-anticipated because Prince William and Catherine will be helping Canadians celebrate Canada Day. There are estimates that as many as 500,000 people may join them on Parliament Hill, especially given the gorgeous weather in Ottawa.

Already, Parliament Hill is filling up, as people stake out their spots for a view of the royal couple who are scheduled to arrive just after noon ET.

And over in the U.K., newspapers are having a field day:

"Kate-mania! Thousands of cheering Canadians greet the smiling Duchess as Royal newlyweds begin their tour of North America,” proclaimed a headline in the Daily Mail.

Remembering Diana on her 50th birthday

Andrew Morton, the British biographer of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, offers his take on how Diana, had she lived, would have spent her 50th birthday, which she would have celebrated today. He also weighed in on how her son, Prince William, may be marking this day as he attends the Canada Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill.

"Well, I mean obviously, as Prince William has said in previous interviews, every day, there's not a day goes by where he doesn't think about her, and I'm sure that he'll be remembering her on this day,” says Mr. Morton. “If Diana was alive, I'm quite sure she'd be probably be living in America now, and she'd be watching the whole thing on TV because William and Catherine will have probably visited her in her palatial home on the east coast.”

Catherine and her gold earrings

Jim Watson is Ottawa’s Mayor and as such he was one of the first to greet Prince William and Catherine when their DND Airbus landed Thursday in Ottawa. Mr. Watson had invited a young man, nine-year-old Kellen Schleyer, who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, to help him out. Kellen was to give flowers to Catherine.

When he met her, he said: “Welcome to Ottawa and I hope you have a good time.”

Mr. Watson added that Kellen was also wearing the mayor’s chain of office, which is made of gold. Kellen, says the Mayor, was quite impressed with this, and had wondered if "the Princess” has a lot of gold?"

"She said ‘a little’,” recalled Mr. Watson and pointed to her earrings.

The romance set to pipes

Bethany Bisaillion, the Pipe Major for The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band, plays at a number of citizenship ceremonies. When she heard rumblings and rumours there was a chance Prince William and his wife, Catherine, may attend one when they visited Ottawa, she got inspired. The result? Ms. Bisaillion, who has been playing bagpipes for 33 years, has set the royal romance to pipe music. Her piece is called St. Andrews Courtship, after the town where the two met. The composition also marks their first official visit as a couple to Canada.

She will play it Friday morning as the couple descend the long escalator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que., to the Grand Hall to attend a citizenship ceremony.

Ms. Bisaillion describes her piece as "kind of lively", "fun" and "spirited." adding that it sounds lie a hornpipe dance rather than a military march.

And she admits that it’s all very "scary" and slightly intimidating.

"I’m going to play it nice and slow. Play it well and play it once," she told The Globe Friday morning.

Trouble on P.E.I.

When royals are involved, politicians are not far away. It appears there is some trouble brewing on Prince Edward Island over the way in which the governing Liberals there are doling out the coveted tickets to one of their royal events.

After Ottawa and a brief visit to Montreal and Quebec City, the royals land in P.E.I. where they will be doing everything from racing in dragon boats to the Prince likely flying a helicopter.

But the country’s youngest premier, Robert Ghiz, seems to have put some noses out of joint over the way in which he’s been distributing invitations to the beach and boat race event at Dalvay-by-the-Sea.

A CBC report says that Mr. Ghiz gave his Liberal MLAs 10 extra invitations, with each including a guest. Each MLA, had been given one ticket for themselves and a guest. “But the offer of inviting extra people was only extended to Liberal MLAs,” according to the report.

The Premier’s office is denying any favoritism.

There are 24 Liberal MLAs and three Conservatives in the PEI legislature.

Follow on Twitter: @janetaber1

 

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