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When William and Kate's 1st foray abroad brought them to Canada

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married in 2011 and soon undertook their first official royal trip abroad — to Canada.

9-day visit in 2011 saw newly married royals meet the masses and race dragon boats

Canadian royal watchers were excited to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after they arrived in Ottawa on June 30, 2011. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Their honeymoon was over, and a trip to Canada came next.

But Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton, appeared eager to plunge into their globetrotting duties as a married royal couple when they travelled here in 2011.

Plus, they were arriving just in time for a party — the July 1 celebration known as Canada Day now, but as Dominion Day decades ago. (It's a time of year that members of the House of Windsor often travel to this country.)

In any case, the newly styled Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were warmly welcomed in the country from the moment they could be seen by royal watchers on the streets of Ottawa.

Royals 'delighted' to see Canada up close

A lot of people were excited to welcome the newly married William and Kate after they arrived in Ottawa on June 30, 2011. (Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press)

"The cheers started as the motorcade pulled up," reporter Laurie Graham recapped for those watching The National at home on June 30, 2011, the day the royal couple arrived and visited Canada's National War Memorial and Rideau Hall.

Crowds cheered as they caught a glimpse of the world-famous newlyweds and phones were thrust in the air, as those same fans tried to capture a visual reminder of the moment for themselves.

During a public address on that first day, William said he and Kate were "delighted" to travel to Canada and see at least some of what it had to offer.

"The geography of Canada is unsurpassed and is famous for being matched only by the hospitality of its peoples," the second-in-line to the throne and presumed future King told his Canadian admirers.

"We're so very excited about having this opportunity to experience both."

Dressing the part

William and Kate each included some red in the outfits they wore in Ottawa on Canada Day in 2011. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The next day, the newlyweds were in the right place — Ottawa — to see a big party on July 1.

Kate dressed in red and white and wore a maple leaf brooch, while her husband went with a red tie for the occasion.

That day, the couple attended a citizenship ceremony in nearby Gatineau, Que., and went to a concert on Parliament Hill. And like the day before, wherever they went, there were a lot of people hoping to see them.

'It didn't work out'

On July 1, 2011, a lot of people in Ottawa had hoped to and tried to catch glimpses of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 2:37

Like Rebecca Grundy and Kristie Bothwell, who tried as hard as they could to see the royal visitors — with limited success.

"I had [Kristie] on my shoulders for about 10 minutes ... just trying to get a photo [of Kate]," Grundy said, when speaking to the CBC's Rosemary Barton about their efforts.

"It didn't work out. The RCMP were blocking both of them. So, it was unfortunate."

Bothwell said she got a brief glimpse of Kate, "but that was it."

A brief royal encounter

Siddhartha Kumar told CBC News about his brief chat with William and Kate on Canada Day in 2011. (The National/CBC Archives)

Things worked out better for Siddhartha Kumar, who became a Canadian citizen that day and also had a brief chat with William and Kate.

"The Duke of Cambridge, he asked me where I was from and I told him I'm from India," Kumar told CBC News.

"And the Duchess said she's going to India."

CBC's online coverage of the royals' activities on Canada Day noted that the public adoration for William and Kate was widespread, even though some critics pointed to the costs of the couple's nine-day visit — reportedly exceeding $1 million, not including security costs —as wasteful spending.

Lobster with a side of protests

While in Montreal, William and Kate took part in a food preparation demonstration at the Quebec Tourism and Hotel Institute. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

On July 2, William and Kate headed east to Montreal, where they visited a local hospital and also hung out with some culinary students. The royal couple also got a lesson on preparing some dishes, including lobster soufflé.

They met lots of well-wishers in Montreal, but their visit also drew the presence of anti-monarchist protesters who made appearances outside the culinary school and the hospital.

Protesters gather beside city hall in advance of a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Quebec City on July 3, 2011. (Clement Allard/The Canadian Press)

The following day, there were also demonstrators in Quebec City who did not support the tour that brought William and Kate to their city — or the monarchy.

But there were also those who welcomed the royals in the province — and it seemed William and Kate were grateful for that welcome.

William and Kate visited Quebec City during the first half of their 2011 Canadian visit. 3:14

"We are simply delighted to be here," William said in French, when addressing a crowd outside the Quebec capital's city hall. "Thank you for your patience with my accent."

Shannon MacCuaig and her five-year-old daughter waited hours for the chance to present flowers to Kate.

"They're so genuine and warm ... they have such a way with people," MacCuaig said after the brief encounter with the visiting royals. "I didn't expect that. I didn't expect them to be so engaging."

Keeping pace while sightseeing

Prince William, wearing a blue shirt in the front boat, and his wife, Kate, standing in the rear boat, competed in a dragon boat race during their visit to P.E.I. in 2011. (Robert F. Bukaty/The Associated Press)

After their time in Quebec, William and Kate flew to Prince Edward Island, a destination expected to appeal to Kate as she was reported to be a fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.

Perhaps the most memorable part of their visit to the island was a dragon boat race, in which the royals not only participated, but competed against each other.

After the eastern leg of their journey, William and Kate flew north to Yellowknife.

While wearing a suit?

William right, takes a shot on a goaltender during a game of street hockey in Yellowknife on July 5, 2011. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The royals spent a couple of days up north, a portion of the visit that may have featured the most Canadian activity on their agenda — road hockey.

The strange part was that Prince William was wearing a suit while taking to the pavement for a couple of playful shots on net against a 20-year-old local goalie, Calvin Lomen, who shut out the future King.

"It turns out Prince William ... may be better off sticking to polo," the CBC's Cameron Mackintosh reported on The National that night, explaining that William had two of his shots blocked, while a third went wide of the net.

Lomen admitted to reporters that his matchup with Prince William had given him a story to tell others for years. He politely rated the prince's hockey skills as being "somewhat moderate."

Loyal royal watchers in Calgary

The CBC's Ian Hanomansing recaps the last day of William and Kate's 2011 visit to Canada. 3:05

The last stop of William and Kate's Canadian adventure was Calgary, where they visited the city's zoo and also helped launch the annual Calgary Stampede parade.

On July 8, the day the royals wrapped up their Canadian tour, they once again had many people hoping to see them before they left.

Frances Miller, 81, was one of the Albertans who did meet the royal couple. And her story included a longer wait than perhaps anyone else in Calgary.

The CBC's Ian Hanomansing reported that a "royal mix-up" 72 years earlier had prevented Miller from presenting King George VI with flowers when then soon-to-be wartime King was in Canada on a royal tour of his own.

In 1939, Frances Miller missed out on a chance to meet King George VI on his Canadian tour. Seventy-two years later, she met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Calgary, at the end of their own Canadian tour. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

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