Prince William and his new wife, the Duchess of Cambridge charmed Canada as they won over old soldiers and young servicemen alike with their common touch.
Kate was described as being “all smiles” despite having a “tough role” as the newest member of the Royal Family. In scenes reminiscent of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Duchess and her husband brought tears of joy to the eyes of a cancer victim.
Kate completed two ‘firsts’ on Saturday with William: tree planting and the ubiquitous unveiling ceremony. She said she was having a “wonderful” time in Ottawa, despite being very new to her royal role.
Robert O’Brien (74) a former army colonel with UN Peacekeeping forces, described the Duchess as a “charming young lady who has assumed this high responsibility and is thriving.”
Kate thanked Prince William for that, telling the former officer, “I’m very, very lucky he looks after me as much as possible.”
The royal couple spent the early part of Sunday fulfilling one tradition associated with royal tours to Canada whose origin goes back decades: tree planting tiny saplings as a living memento of their visit to the Commonwealth country.
William and Kate planted an Eastern Hemlock in the shadow of the Pin Oak planted by William’s parents on June 21, 1983: his first birthday.
During the ceremony they met wheelchair-bound Terry Joyce (47) a former computer expert from Ottawa. As Mr. Joyce struggled to his feet and leant against a walking frame William (29) told him to sit down and relax and when Kate arrived she shook him warmly by the hand saying, “Let’s get you out of the sunlight Terry.”
It was a touching moment that reduced Mr. Joyce, who lives in the Bruyere Hospice, to tears. He said: “This has given me a tremendous lift. It goes to show that we have a wonderful monarchy and we really need people like this. I was told a week ago I would be meeting them and I have been looking forward to it ever since. It has been one of the best days of my life.”
Prince William and Kate had spent the night on board the HMCS Montreal and they made their way on the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Quebec City. They attended an interdenominational church service, and then also in Montreal, Princess Catherine wore a traditional chef uniform to participate in a cookery class.
It has been a busy visit to Canada so far for William and Kate, and there’s no slowing down yet. With about three outfits a day for the duchess, there’s lots of talk about the beautiful dresses she has worn. And soon the royal couple will hit the USA!