Last year I wrote about our nation’s National Anthem, O Canada to celebrate Canada Day. Last year Queen Elizabeth was the visiting Royal on Parliament Hill. This year her grandson, Prince William and his new bride, Catherine will visit Canada on their first official visit overseas. Already the newlyweds have become more popular than, well…the Queen!
According to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, “Heritage Minister James Moore predicted the royal visit (by Will and Kate) will break all records and pointed to the record-breaking 1,300 journalists accredited to cover the visit — compared with 848 who covered Queen Elizabeth’s most recent Canadian tour. And the number is still growing.”
Although they are predicting the young couple will attract more attention, and the estimated crowds of people who will want to catch a glimpse of them during their eight-day tour of our country will be decidedly more staggering than the crowds for the Queen last year, the cost to taxpayers will be less than half of the Queen’s visit. Go figure.
Media has been quick to point out that the two young Royals are very savvy to working a crowd and using social media and the like to their advantage. The Canadian Government has even set up a 2011 Royal Tour site complete with a Facebook page and Twitter account, and there is a greeting from Prince William on the front page:
Message from His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge
“Catherine and I are very much looking forward to our Tour of Canada. We hope to be able to meet as many people as possible and to see as much of the extraordinary and diverse country as we can”, said The Duke of Cambridge. “I have wonderful memories from my last times in Canada, and as such we consider it a great privilege to have been invited to Canada for our first joint Tour.”
Now being a Calgarian, I am looking forward to their last stop on their tour. Ottawa will get to see them first on Parliament Hill for the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st, but here in the Cowtown, we’ll get to see what they look like wearing jeans and ten-gallon cowboy hats at the Stampede Parade as they help kick off the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth – the Calgary Stampede! I gotta admit that I can’t help getting that “Yahoo” type of feeling at the thought of them chowing down at one of the gazillion pancake breakfasts around town that are a Stampede tradition. Wonder if Will will even try his hand at calf roping? (OK now I’m being facetious 🙂 Unfortunately they’ll miss out on getting a little mud splattered up at them in the stands during the “chucks” – that’s Chuckwagon races to you easterners 🙂 but no doubt they will enjoy the western hospitality the short while they are in Calgary and as they leave our fair land, they will have plenty of Canadian memories to take with them back to England.
I don’t think I’ll be brave enough to tackle the parade crowds to get a glimpse of the young couple while here in Calgary, but there’s no denying that their visit is good for Canada, for the cities they will visit while on tour, and all eyes will be upon them and our Nation during their time with us.
It’s a great way to kick off Canada’s 144th Birthday celebrations! Welcome to Canada, Will and Kate! Yahoooooooo!