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Canada tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in boat race

Category: Headlines

Published: 4th Jul 2011 14:11:30

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will compete against each other in a dragon boat race on Monday.

The couple have been given the job of steering their teams to victory as they cross a lake in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.

Prince William and his wife Kate are spending the fifth day of their first official overseas tour on the island.

The duke will also take part in a Sea King helicopter training session during the visit.

The island is known as the home of Anne of Green Gables, a fictional character said to be a favourite of the duchess.

Clarence House has said it expects the visit to Prince Edward Island be a focal point for well-wishers from across the Maritimes provinces.

Prince William and his wife Kate began their visit at Canada's second oldest active legislature building - Province House. Province House was the site of the Charlottetown conference in 1864, at which the idea of the nation of Canada was born.

Lucy Maud Montgomery's stories of Anne of Green Gables made Prince Edward Island famous among book-lovers worldwide.

Her heroine Anne Shirley - a teacher like Ms Montgomery - lives in an idealised, peaceful island where sorrows are gently borne and goodness is everywhere.

But LM Montgomery's own life was a sad one. She was born in Prince Edward Island in 1874. Her mother died before she was two and she was brought up by grandparents.

Anne of Green Gables, her first book, published in 1908, was an instant success, but she later went through long legal battles with her publisher.

Her husband was mentally ill for years and she herself suffered from depression.

She died in 1944; her granddaughter said in 2008 that she took her own life.

They will then travel to Dalvay by the Sea, where Prince William, an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, will join his Canadian counterparts for a demonstration of landing a Sea King helicopter on water.

Canada is the only country which trains its Sea King pilots to perform such landings and Prince William requested the exercise.

The Duke and Duchess will steer teams of professional dragon boat racers and local athletes across Dalvay Lake, before taking part in a traditional ceremony led by Mi'Kmaq chiefs.

They will participate in a search and rescue exercise at Summerside Harbour before leaving for Canada's Northwest Territories, arriving at Yellowknife Airport at 1940 local time (0240 BST).

In Quebec City on Sunday, the royal couple took part in an interfaith prayer service on the HMCS Montreal, before being met by dignitaries including Konrad Sioui, Grand Chief of the Council of the Huron-Wendat nation.

The couple visited a centre that helps homeless youths and attended a military ceremony to honour the Royal 22nd Regiment of Canada at a Freedom of the City ceremony at Quebec City Hall.

There was a small anti-monarchy protest a few streets away but it was drowned out by 2,000 well-wishers who lined a square around the hall.

The separatist group Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois, or Quebecker Resistance Network carried signs saying: "Pay your own way" and "The monarchy, it's over".

The couple's final formal event of the day before they left for Prince Edward Island was to meet war veterans and small children dressed in period uniform as British soldiers, at Fort-de-Levis.

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BBC News, 2011. Canada tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in boat race [Online] (Updated 4th Jul 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/167405/Canada-tour-Duke-and-Duchess-of-Cambridge-in-boat-race [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

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