Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge plant a tree in Ottawa

William and Kate's tour of Canada enters tricky phase: Quebec

    Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Royal Tour of Ottawa, Canada - 01 Jul 2011
    Duchess of Cambridge goes on a walkabout during Canada Day celebrations at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photograph: MBBImages/BEI / Rex Features
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Canadian tour enters its second, and potentially trickiest, phase today as the couple visit French-speaking territory. They arrive in Montreal this afternoon and will spend the night aboard a Canadian navy frigate sailing up the St Lawrence river to Quebec City, traditionally the centre of the separatist movement, for Sunday. Royal visitors have had an uncertain welcome in Quebec province – where more than 80% of the population speak French – in recent decades. The Queen has not returned to Quebec city since protesters turned their backs on her and booed in 1964, and two years ago Prince Charles and Camilla were held up by scuffles between demonstrators and police as they visited Montreal. Radical young protesters from the Quebec Resistance Network have called for a demonstration outside the city hall on Sunday, though they have promised it will be peaceful. Patrick Bourgeois, leader of the network, said the separatists want to send a message "that the monarchy is not welcome in Quebec". Prince William has emphasised Canada's bilingualism and dual identity – "Bonne fête, Canada, happy birthday," he exclaimed in a speech. The visit to Quebec province is a sign that the authorities believe their appearance there will be a success. In a recent poll, more than half of those questioned described themselves as excited by the prospect of seeing them. During the first two days of their tour in Ottawa, the royal couple have been greeted by huge and adulatory crowds. More than 300,000 people were estimated to have crowded around the capital's parliament hill during the Canada Day celebrations on Friday, many of them travelling for hours and some sleeping out to catch a glimpse of the prince and his bride.More...

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