Royal tour: From fireworks to the Stampede
Prince William and his new bride Kate will begin their 10-day Canadian tour in Ottawa and end it in Calgary where they'll open the world famous Stampede.
Details of the royal tour, which begins June 30, were released Monday, though specifics of day-to-day activities have yet to be finalized.
The Duke and Duchess start their first official tour as a married couple in the nation's capital where they will be on hand for Canada Day celebrations. Here's how the tour shapes up:
• Ottawa, from June 30 to July 2;
• Montreal, Quebec, on July 2;
• Quebec City, Quebec, on July 3;
• Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, from July 3 to July 4;
• Summerside, Prince Edward Island, on July 4;
• Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, from July 4 to July 6; and
• Calgary, Alberta, from July 6 to July 8.
This will be William's third trip to Canada -- he was here in 1991 and 1998 -- while Kate will be seeing the country for the first time.
"Canadians hold The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in very high esteem and look forward to welcoming them as they embark on their first official Royal Tour as newlyweds,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “The couple’s decision to visit Canada first is a testament to our country’s close relationship with the Crown and Royal Family, and an opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our traditions, history, and institutions.”
It has been speculated that Kate has requested to make a stop at the site of the Anne of Green Gables stories in PEI, and also at the Calgary air museum which was once a Second World War training base where her grandfather Peter was stationed.
“This royal visit will be on a size and scale like nothing Canada has seen,” said Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, who expects there will be a record turnout to Parliament Hill on July 1 to help the royals celebrate the country's 144th birthday.
"It’ll be, in fact, I think perhaps the largest Canada Day celebration in history," he said.
The minister confirmed that more than 85 journalists from the UK have signed up to cover the tour. Only 18 came for the Queen's last trip to Canada in 2010.
As for the cost of the tour that must be shouldered by Canadian taxpayers, Moore would only say that the bill will be less than the $2 million paid for for the Queen's nine-day tour last year.
The couple will wind up their tour on July 8, the same day the Calgary Stampede begins. The annual event has hosted royals on two occasions: In 1973, the Queen opened the Stampede and, in 1977, princes Charles and Andrew did the same.
Following their Canadian stay, the newest royal couple head to California for a three-day visit.
The Prime Minister's Office said the theme of the 2011 royal tour is “Moving Forward Together: From Past Accomplishments to Current Service to Future Achievements.”
More information about tour is available here.