Added by Monique Robinson on June 30, 2011
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, better known as Prince William and Kate, embarked on their Canadian tour on Thursday – their first official overseas tour. Canada is a member of the Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth II as the nation’s head of state.
The couple plans to visit seven Canadian cities, followed by a trip to the US. The couple arrives just in time for Canada Day on July 1, where crowds of up to 300,000 are expected to welcome them at Canada’s Parliament Hill located in the nation’s capital city of Ottawa.
The royal couple plans to visit the provinces of Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories. In a departure from activities planned by previous royal visitors, the couple is expected to participate in events like a dragon boat race and other local events.
Canada created a royal flag for the visit, which will be flown from the cockpit of the plane carrying the royal couple when they land on Thursday. The flag will also be flown from cars and buildings they plan to visit or stay in. The Royal Canadian Mint, responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins, issued a limited edition gold coin bearing a face value of $200; the coin features a portrait of the royal couple and a white crystal.
The visit will be followed by about 1,400 journalists from around the world. The cost of the visit, excluding security is estimated to be CAD 1.4m.
The Duke and Duchess plan to travel to the US and visit California where they will attend a black-tie reception and dinner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA); Prince William has been the president of BAFTA since February 2010.