Queen's arrival in Canada dampened by heavy rain

The Queen arrives in Canada during a heavy downpour of rain

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The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in Canada at the start of a nine-day royal tour of the country.

The Queen spoke of her happiness of returning to the country and said it felt like "a home away from home".

The couple had been met by heavy rain earlier when their Canadian Armed Forces plane touched down at Halifax in Nova Scotia.

During the trip, they will celebrate the Canadian navy's centenary and visit Ottawa, Winnipeg and Toronto.

The royal couple will then head to New York, where the Queen is set to address the United Nations.

The Queen and a Mi'kmaq leader The Queen speaks to a Mi’kmaq leader during an event in Halifax

The Queen has visited the Commonwealth country 22 times during her reign as its head of state.

During a ceremonial greeting at Halifax's Garrison Grounds, the Queen said she and her husband were glad to be back in Nova Scotia.

She told the assembled guests, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of the indigenous Mi'kmaq population: "My mother once said that this country felt like a home away from home for the Queen of Canada.

"Prime minister, I am pleased to report that it still does and I am delighted to be back amongst you all."

She continued: "As Queen of Canada for nearly six decades my pride in this country remains undimmed. Thank you again for your welcome. It is very good to be home."

Outstanding individuals

Earlier members of the Queen's party were forced to hold on tightly to their umbrellas because of the heavy rain and wind when they disembarked their chartered aircraft.

The Queen, who was wearing a beige raincoat, was forced to seek shelter under a transparent dome umbrella and hold on to a rail as she walked down a stairway to ground level.

She was given a posy of flowers by nine-year-old Angel Lee Jordan, before the couple left in a chauffeur-driven limousine.

During the trip, the royal couple are set to honour outstanding individuals, businesses and institutions and members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Queen The Queen was presented with a posy of flowers

The Queen is set to mark Canada Day on Thursday, visit and speak at the First Canadian Concert for Human Rights and attend several other events in her honour.

The Queen first visited the country in 1951 when she was still a princess. She travelled 10,000 miles and attended a square dance during her tour.

In 2002, she took part in her first Canadian ice hockey match when she dropped the puck before an National Hockey League game in Vancouver.

This trip marks her 24th visit to the nation.

In 2009, her son the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall also undertook a royal visit of Canada.

Their tour of Montreal was interrupted at one point by a protest by more than 100 anti-monarchy demonstrators.

There are no plans for the Queen to visit Montreal during this tour.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the Queen was a frequent visitor to different parts of the country and this trip would have been planned "a long way in advance and on the advice of the Canadian government".

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