Will and Kate, now the newly dubbed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have landed in North America for their first international tour as newlyweds.
The royal couple embarked on their 12-day North American tour this weekend. They arrived in Ottawa early Thursday and were greeted by over 10,000 people at the Macdonald-Cartier Airport. The tour has incited an international media frenzy and fanfare of “Will and Kate mania” that has overtaken the masses….
…including American collegiettes™ like myself. My friend Sammie and I are big fans of the British royal family including Will and Kate (and not to mention the Queen’s adorable Corgis). So needless to say, when the two of us heard that the royal newlyweds would be embarking on their first official foreign trip to North America as the newly dubbed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, we knew we had to go! The two of us packed our bags
and made the 10-hour drive from New England to Ottawa for Will and Kate’s official arrival.
We arrived for the second day in Will and Kate’s Canadian tour. On this day, the royal newlyweds took part in Ottawa’s Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill, where an estimated half a million people gathered in the city center donning red and white colors, and maple leaf paraphernalia.
Will and Kate mania was everywhere when we arrived at Parliament Hill, Ottawa for Canada Day. Fans of the royal couple traveled from all across the country and abroad with their “Will and Kate” antennae, flags, tote bags, and handmade posters. As a writer for Her Campus, I wanted to chat with other Will and Kate fans to hear their stories.
AnnaLee Jacobs, 26, drove over 20 hours from Michigan to catch a glimpse of the Duke and his new bride. She was surprised to have met them face-to-face and even shook Will’s hand.
“I saw Prince William and shook his hand. He seemed like a very down-to-earth kind of guy and I loved that about him,” AnnaLee said. “The 20-hour drive was totally worth it.”
Emily Corniveau, 23, was with her two friends Jessica Stainthorpe, 22, and Deanna Holme, 23. They drove out from Toronto and were camping out in the street since 6 a.m., but these ladies were having a great time. All of them were sporting face-painted Canadian flags and sparkly “Will and Kate” antennae, chanting “We love Kate!”
“We’re just really happy to see Kate,” Emily said, smiling from ear to ear. “It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you know?”
Sammie and I were packed in the crowds, cramped at the elbows and a distance from the main stage, but we were happy to catch a glimpse of Kate’s beaming smile and red fascinator from afar. She was dressed in the spirit of the national holiday in a cream dress by London designer Reiss, a red maple leaf fascinator by Sylvia Fletcher, and a matching maple leaf-shaped diamond brooch, which the Queen loaned to her for the couple’s Canadian tour. Will was dressed in a crisp blue suit and red tie.
At noontime, Will and Kate arrived in an open carriage to commence the celebration of Canada’s 144th birthday with a performance of “God Save the Queen” and “O, Canada.” The royals, alongside Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, were entertained with a thundering 21 cannon salute and two fly-overs by the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds, concerts and acrobatic stunts on the main stage.
After a nearly two-hour show, Prince William, who has not been in Canada since the age of fifteen, gave a speech to the crowd of thousands packed in Parliament Hill. “I’m excited to be able to share this with Catherine,” he said. “Because she has told me that she feels exactly the same way. She heard about Canada not from her parents, but from her grandfather, a wonderful man who passed away last year, but who held this country dear to his heart- for he trained in Alberta as a young pilot during the Second World War.”
After the ceremony, the royal newlyweds greeted the throngs of fans that jam-packed the streets, with Will shaking hands and Kate accepting bouquets of flowers, even stopping for a quick snapshot or two with fans. The couple returned to Parliament Hill later in the day for the evening show.
Since their departure from Ottawa on Saturday, Will and Kate are set for a full, fast-paced itinerary over the course of next week. They will tour a children’s hospital in Montreal, canoe on Blachford Lake in Yellowknife, and appear at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo.
But it’s clear that wherever they go…
…their fans are sure to follow.