Royals to mark Canada Day by welcoming new citizens

Vancouver Sun

Prince William and Kate will launch what is expected to be one of the biggest Canada Day celebrations in history with a citizenship ceremony at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, where 25 new Canadians will take an oath of citizenship.

It’ll be a more festive second day of the royal tour than the few brief but well-attended events the couple took part in upon arriving in Canada on Thursday.

The citizenship ceremony is being held Friday morning at the museum, which is just across the bridge from Ottawa in Gatineau, Que.

William will present each of them with a folded Canadian flag and Kate will give them a small hand flag, but the Sons of Scotland band also has a gift for the couple — a new composition called the St. Andrews Courtship, a nod to the Scottish university where the world’s most famous newlyweds met as undergraduates eight years ago.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, his wife, Laureen, and their children, Ben and Rachel, are scheduled to arrive on the Hill around noon. A few minutes later, William and Catherine will arrive in a landau with an RCMP escort, accompanied by the Governor General and his wife.

There will be a 21-gun salute, the Governor General will inspect the Guard of Honour, and there’ll l be a CF-18 flypast over Parliament Hill.

The hour-long Canada Day show they’ll watch will include performances by Sam Roberts, Great Big Sea and Maria Aragon, the Winnipeg 10-year-old who performed a duet with Lady Gaga in Toronto earlier this year.

The prince is then scheduled to give a brief speech and he and Kate will conduct a walkabout on Parliament once the afternoon performance ends.

William and Kate began the day by sending best wishes to Canadian soldiers serving at home and abroad, lauding their “extraordinary commitment and contribution to the cause of peace.”

In a letter posted by the Governor General, the visiting royals spoke of the soldiers sacrifice with admiration.

“Because Canadian Forces are always to the fore, the sacrifices have been great,” the letter reads.

“For this, the Canadian Forces are respected around the world, They have made a difference to the lives of many thousands who most need assistance through compassion and humanity. We are honoured to thank you and congratulate you for a job well done.”

William himself serves with Britain’s Royal Air Force.

The letter was signed William and Catherine.

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