Canada tour: Duchess speaks of hopes for family

The Duchess of Cambridge and Raffaela Cheater
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge was given a bouquet by two-year-old Raffaela Cheater.

The Duchess of Cambridge has for the first time publicly spoken of her hope to have children.

The duchess and her husband Prince William are in Canada on the first official overseas tour since being married in April.

On Sunday, the royal couple attended a ceremony at Quebec City Hall, where the duchess was given flowers by two-year-old Raffaela Cheater.

She told the toddler's father she hoped to start her own family.

British expatriate David Cheater said he and his daughter Raffaela had queued for four hours to see the couple at a ceremony to honour Canada's Royal 22nd Regiment at Quebec City Hall.

"Kate said to me 'what a beautiful daughter you have'," Mr Cheater said.

Mr Cheater then wished the duchess and her husband good luck in starting their own family.

"She responded 'yes, I hope to'," he reported.

Mr Cheater, who is originally from Swindon, said he also exchanged some football banter with the Duke about Aston Villa, the team they both support.

The duchess wore an electric blue Jacquenta dress by Erdem, the Canadian-born British designer who designed the dress on her arrival in Canada on Thursday.

The shift gown had a floral lace appliqué across the shoulders and sleeves and a split skirt.

She wore beige patent platform stilettos and a beige clutch bag.

Quebec City

Prince William and his wife Kate had arrived in Quebec City on a Canadian naval ship having sailed down the St Lawrence river from Montreal.

Before going ashore the royal couple took part in an interfaith prayer service on the HMCS Montreal, singing one hymn in French.

Anglican Bishop of Quebec Dennis Drainville, who took part in the service on the deck of the ship, said: "William will some day be king and because of that his opportunity to come here and be among people - Canadians - and learn about Canada is very important, we are diverse."

"Her Majesty the Queen is one of the most faithful individuals, every year she gives in her message an indication of the Christian values and virtues that are so important to us.

"William being her grandson I'm sure will carry on that tradition."

After disembarking HMCS Montreal the couple were met by dignitaries including Konrad Sioui, Grand Chief of the Council of the Huron-Wendat nation.

The First Nations leader gave the duke a copy of a treaty signed between the Hurons and the British in 1760.

Asked what he had said to the couple, he said: "I welcomed the duke and duchess to Huron land. She wanted to find out about my hat and what it was made from - it's wild turkey and eagle feathers and is made by the women.

"It is the same hat worn in 1760 when the then grand chief made the treaty."

Freedom of the city

The couple's first visit in the city was to a centre that helps homeless youths, and they also attended a military ceremony to honour the Royal 22nd Regiment of Canada at a Freedom of the City ceremony.

The French-speaking infantry unit, known as Van Doos, has fought in conflicts from the Somme to Afghanistan.

After inspecting two rows of soldiers in scarlet tunics and bearskins, William gave a speech in French, and got a cheer from the crowds at Quebec City Hall when he joked about his pronunciation.

"Thank you for your patience with my accent, and I hope that we will have the chance to get to know each other over the years to come," he said.

There was a small anti-monarchy protest a few streets away but it was drowned out by 2,000 well-wishers who lined a square around the hall.

The separatist group Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois, or Quebecker Resistance Network carried signs saying: "Pay your own way" and "The monarchy, it's over".

Protester Maxime Laporte told the Associated Press news agency: "We do not recognize the authority, the legitimacy of the Crown, of the monarchy here in Quebec and it's not a national symbol for us. It's rather a symbol of imperialism, of war crimes against humanity, against our people."

The couple's final formal event of the day before they left for Prince Edward Island was to meet war veterans and small children dressed in period uniform as British soldiers at Fort-de-Levis.

Prince Edward Island

The official welcome to Prince Edward Island is on Monday, and the Canadian government expects their visit may be a focal point for many well-wishers from across the Maritimes provinces, Clarence House said earlier.

Prince William will take part in a Sea King helicopter training session on the island, which is the most easterly point of the duke and duchess's tour.

It known as the home of Anne of Green Gables, a fictional character said to be a favourite of the duchess.

A dragon boat race is scheduled for later, with the husband and wife steering opposing teams.

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