UK

Canada tour: Royal couple 'excited' by Yellowknife

  • 6 July 2011
  • From the section UK
Media captionWilliam takes a swing at street hockey at Yellowknife

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been participating in several events in Canada's Northwest Territories, continuing their tour of the country.

The royal couple took part in an Arctic sports demonstration, and the duke played a game of street hockey.

They also attended a youth parliament session in Yellowknife on the sixth day of their tour of Canada.

Their travels around the country continue until Friday when they will depart for the United States.

Hundreds had gathered at Yellowknife's Somba K'e Civic Plaza to welcome the couple.

They were treated to song, dance and feats of skill by Aboriginal peoples from the Northwest Territories - one of the Commonwealth nation's most remote and unpopulated regions.

'True humanity'

In a short speech, the duke praised the region, telling the hundreds of spectators: "This place is what Canada is all about; vast, open beauty, tough, resilient friendly peoples - true nature, true humanity.

"Thanks to all of you who have travelled such great distances to join us today, Catherine and I are deeply honoured... we are so excited to be here," he said.

Image caption The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge said they were "honoured" people had joined them in Yellowknife

To cheers he ended by speaking a few words of the local language - "Mahsi Cho" - meaning thank you very much.

The couple joined a group of youngsters from the Sidedoor Youth Centre who were playing the archetypal Canadian game of street hockey, or "shinny".

Despite being left handed, William held the hockey stick right-handed - his first two shots were saved, while the third missed.

The duchess was watching from the sideline with youngster Gloria Francis, 16, who said: "Kate said: 'I would have taken a shot if I wasn't in high heels'".

Diamond gifts

The royal couple then travelled the short distance to the Provincial Legislative Assembly to meet the province's Youth Parliament.

The building was opened by the Queen in 1994 during the last royal tour to the region

Prime William and Kate listened as 18 teenagers outlined what they thought should be done to improve education in the Territories.

They were also given presents from the local government to mark their visit - Kate received a brooch featuring a polar bear; William's gift was a pair of cufflinks with the same design, and diamonds.

The duke and duchess' final engagement will give them the opportunity to see the province's sparse landscape, after they flew by boat plane to an island to meet volunteers and officers from the Canadian Rangers and Young Canadian Rangers.

At Blachford Lodge - a tourist retreat used by the educational body Dechinta, which teaches traditional skills and crafts - the royal couple will meet students learning local indigenous languages, and see hides being prepared for clothing and fish being smoked.

So far on their tour the duke and duchess have attended Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, visited a Montreal cookery school and attended a ceremony at Quebec City Hall.

St James's Palace announced on Tuesday that the couple had added an extra engagement to their itinerary.

They will now fly to Slave Lake, Alberta, on Wednesday, to meet rescue workers who fought wildfires that devastated the area last month.

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