Prince William enjoyed showing off his military helicopter training with his first ever water landing Monday to the delight of anxious crowds in Canada, where he and his wife, Kate, have been on their first official overseas trip since their wedding.
The Duke of Cambridge climbed into the cockpit of a Sea King helicopter for the military training exercise at Dalvay by-the-Sea, a scenic resort along Prince Edward Island’s north shore. Prince William, a Royal Air Force rescue helicopter pilot, requested to take part in the simulated emergency landing procedure.
Prince William put on an olive flight suit and helmet. Then the prince who is second in line to the British throne, proceeded to skilfully settle the large helicopter on the water several times in an hour. He piloted several takeoffs and hovered in the air before executing dual- and single-engine landings before taxiing around. Kate watched from the ground.
“He was looking for his wife on the shoreline at one point,” said Col. Sam Michaud (42) who trained Prince William in the procedure. “She was waving back about 100 feet away.”
Canada is the only country that trains its Sea King helicopter pilots to do a controlled landing on water in an emergency. Prince William said the guys back at his base would be jealous.
William and Kate then paddled in two dragon boats to race against each other. Kate, dressed in black sportswear, got to demonstrate her athletic prowess while on the water by taking the stern of her boat. She trained as part of a dragon boat crew in 2007, and the rivalry with William appeared to be genuine.
When Prince William’s boat narrowly won the short race and he got out of the boat to give Kate a consolation hug. Kate playfully gave William a nudge, as if to push him in the water.
“There’s no chivalry in sport,” William jokingly told Kate as he was presented with a bottle of champagne for winning the race.
“Sadly, we lost,” she laughed.
Later, it was time for Princess Catherine to come to the fore. She was presented with a book of “Anne of Green Gables,” a childhood favorite of hers, by actress Tess Benger (23), who performs as Anne in a play.
Then the couple sampled Prince Edward Island’s food. William put his hands to his stomach and joked about eating too much on the trip. But when it came to the oyster tasting, he said to Kate, “this is where you take over.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are officially known, are on the sixth of a nine-day trip to Canada, part of their first official overseas trip since their April 29 wedding.