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Anne of Green Gables may draw William and Kate to PEI during royal summer tour

Tourism promoters in Prince Edward Island are abuzz over reports that Anne of Green Gables may have inspired the upcoming trip by Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, to the province this summer.

The Daily Mail in the U.K., quoting an unidentified source, recently reported that the Duchess, the former Kate Middleton, wanted to make a stop in the province during the royal visit in July because she was a fan as a child of the book written by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

"We do hope that Kate is a big Anne fan, that there is some truth to that," said Brenda Gallant, marketing director for the PEI Department of Tourism. "It would be exciting to have her here to experience the beauty of the island as Lucy Maud Montgomery saw it."

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Ms. Montgomery's fictional story about a redheaded orphan girl adopted by an elderly brother and sister is set on a farm in PEI.

Since it was written in 1908, it has sold more than 50 million copies, and in some countries, like Japan, was even placed on school reading lists.

Ms. Gallant said details of the visit are still being finalized. It is Kate's first visit to Canada.

Ms. Gallant said a report about the Duchess of Cambridge's fascination with Anne, even if unverified, presents an excellent marketing opportunity for the province.

She said it wouldn't be difficult to put together an Anne itinerary of sorts for the newest member of the royal family.

"We have so many Anne products here on the Island - Green Gables House, the Homestead," she said.

"You could meet descendants of Lucy Maud Montgomery or attend the Anne of Green Gables production."

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The curtain will rise on the newest version of the musical on June 30, the day the royal couple are set to arrive in Canada.

Dan Wall, a publicist for the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, said front row seats could be made available on short notice.

"I don't know if anybody knows what their itinerary is yet, but I certainly hope that PEI Tourism is all over those reports about Anne," he said. "We would be thrilled to have them and know they would enjoy it."

The couple's visit will also include stops in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Quebec and the Ottawa region.

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