Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day Six - William and Catherine's Royal Tour of Canada - Yellowknife, North West Territories

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sign the visitors book as they attend a session of Youth Parliament at the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife, Canada
Source: British Monarchy Flickr
On Day Six of their royal tour, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Yellowknife, North West Territories. The last royal visit was in  August 1994, when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Yellowknife, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit. They had previously visited in 1959 and 1970. Prince Charles visited in 1979 and Prince Andrew and  his then wife Sarah Ferguson, came in 1987.

During the official welcoming ceremony at Somba K’e Civic Plaza, the couple were treated to a song of welcome by Native Canadian drummers performed by the Dene, traditional Aboriginal hand games and “high kick,” an Arctic sport. On this stop William made a memorable, brief quadrilingual speech in English and French, adding his thanks in the languages of the Dene and the north coast of Inuvialuit.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play street hockey with local residents during a visit to the Somba K'e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife, Canada
Source: British Monarchy Flickr
After watching a brief game of street hockey, William tried his hand but failed at three shoot-out attempts. Catherine, who excelled at sports in school, demurred in participating in a shoot-out and instead dropped the ball in a face-off. She was wearing a wearing a cream linen three-quarter dress by Malene Birger with shoes by L.K. Bennett. They were presented with Canadian Olympic hockey jerseys with CAMBRIDGE on the back, Catherine's sporting the #1 and William with #2.

In the afternoon they joined a Session of Youth Parliament at the Legislative Assembly, learning about the challenges Aboriginal youth face, specifically in keeping young people in school. Later in the day the couple took a 30-minute float plane ride to Blachford Lake. They met members of the Canadian Rangers, the country's volunteer northern home guard. Catherine was named an honorary member of the Rangers. William had previously been named an honorary member, along with his brother Harry, in 2009. The couple posed in Rangers' red sweatshirts for a group photo. William was given a handcrafted patrol knife. Earlier he had received platinum cuff links and Catherine was given a polar bear diamond brooch made from diamonds mined in the territory.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet local residents during a visit to Blachford Lake near Yellowknife, Canada
Source: British Monarchy Flickr
The couple then toured the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, a program combining traditional Aboriginal learning into a university accredited program. Here they learned about  moose-hide tanning and fish-drying.

At the end of the day, an elder guided them by canoe to uninhabited Eagle Island on Blachford Lake, where they dined on a specially prepared meal of local cranberries, Bannock bread, caribou and white fish. No doubt enjoying a peaceful, brief respite from the whirlwind tour.

Sources: Indian Country, CBC, Newstabulous

© Marilyn Braun 2011 Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

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