Canada tour: Duke successfully lands Sea King on water

Monday, July 4, 2011

Prince William performed a 'waterbird' landing in a helicopter for the first time
Prince William has successfully landed a Sea King helicopter on water.

Prince William, a RAF search and rescue Sea King pilot, requested the exercise as part of his official tour of Canada, with his wife, Kate.

Canada is the only country to train its pilots to perform 'waterbird' landings, in which the helicopter's engine is cut before it is landed on water.

The Sea King landed safely on a lake on Prince Edward Island, with the aid of Canadian Air Force colleagues.

Later, the duke and duchess will steer teams of professional dragon boat racers and local athletes across Dalvay Lake, before taking part in a traditional ceremony led by Mi'Kmaq chiefs.

They will participate in a search and rescue exercise at Summerside Harbour before leaving for Canada's Northwest Territories, arriving at Yellowknife Airport at 1940 local time (0240 BST).
'Crucible' of nationhood

Prince William spoke of being at the "crucible" of Canadian nationhood as he and the duchess were earlier welcomed to Canada's smallest province.

The duke said it was quite a moment to be in front of Province House in Charlottetown "where Canadian federation was forged".

Province House is Canada's second oldest active legislature building and was the site of the Charlottetown conference in 1864, at which the idea of the nation of Canada was born.

Premier Robert Ghiz welcomed the duke and duchess on the fifth day of their tour.

Mr Ghiz, who is married to another Kate, joked: "It's always important to remember that Kates are always right."

Royal Canadian Mounted Police accompanied the duke and duchess as they rode through the main street on a horse-drawn Landau carriage with the premier and his wife.

After their official welcome, the royal couple went on a walkabout, greeting well-wishers.

Some people had slept on pavements overnight to secure a good vantage point and the crowd was six deep in places.

Sixty-five-year-old Mary Fleming had spent the night on the street.

"I came down with my two daughters and we had dinner last night and just stayed here. We just love both of them, they're very charismatic and wonderful members of the Royal Family," she said

"Kate is doing tremendously well, she has such ease and grace, as if she was born to royalty."

The duchess wore a cream knitted sailor-style dress - by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, who also designed the duchess's wedding dress.

Prince Edward Island is known as the home of Anne of Green Gables, a fictional character said to be a favourite of the duchess.

Clarence House has said it expects the visit to the island to be a focal point for well-wishers from across the Maritimes provinces.

Quebec City

In Quebec City on Sunday, the royal couple took part in an interfaith prayer service on the HMCS Montreal, before being met by dignitaries including Konrad Sioui, Grand Chief of the Council of the Huron-Wendat nation.

The couple visited a centre that helps homeless youths and attended a military ceremony to honour the Royal 22nd Regiment of Canada at a Freedom of the City ceremony at Quebec City Hall.

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".


Post a Comment