William and Kate Celebrate Canada Day With its Newest Citizens
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge witness swearing in of new Canadians on the second day of their North American tour Prince William saw the swearing in of 25 new Canadian citizens on Friday, though he – prince of Canada that he is – was not one of them.
There were Chinese, Cubans, French, Greeks, Haitians, Romanians and even Madagascan residents swearing an oath of allegiance to his grandmother and to him as one of her heirs and successors, yet if anyone noticed the irony, they did not care to mention it.
The prince, with his wife, Duchess Kate, beside him, was guest of honour on Canada Day in Ottawa and tens of thousands turned out to cheer and whoop.
From early morning a sea of red and white converged in front of the country's parliament. On what was to become a hot and nearly cloudless day Canadians trudged towards the site, most wearing the national colours, many carrying maple leaf flags in their hair or on their baseball caps or T-shirts.
If Canadians are God's doughty people – and some of them these days his doughy people too – they were stoically out to enjoy themselves. Some even carried macs, just in case.
Across the river, outside the Canadian Museum of Civilization, an appropriate place for the citizenship ceremony in this most civilised nation, there was the first demonstrator of the tour. Dressed in a bear costume and bearing a motto "Bearskins look better on bears", she didn't seem to mind being ignored.
For the royal party it was then on to the more boisterous celebrations across the river and up the hill, a journey partly undertaken in the state landau.
Inside the museum's hall, lined with giant totem poles, mounties genially posed for photographs with the new citizens while the Canadian air force's string quartet gently strummed the theme from Desert Island Discs like a palm court orchestra – a strange choice as desert islands are one thing Canada lacks. On television screens more characteristic scenes were shown, most of them seemingly including snow.
Meanwhile, the crowds at the museum agreed the couple were lovely, sweet, gorgeous, a credit to Canada, a country Kate had not visited before.
Three characters standing well back from the crowd, bearing posters saying "No oath to royalty", "Democracy not royalty" and, slightly more cumbersomely, "Monarchy oaths violate charter freedoms" were politely ignored – it is the Canadian way.