July 3, 2011 11:13:01 am
Prince William and his bride Catherine have landed in Quebec province — the only stop in Canada where they would face protests during their first official foreign trip as newly weds.
The former French colony was conquered by the British in 1763,but its culture and language survived and the Canadian province is now a bastion of French culture in North America.
British rule,however,still evokes resentment in some quarters.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit is expected to be met by protests when they arrive in Montreal in the afternoon and move on to Quebec City on Sunday.
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Their Quebec itinerary is abridged,with no royal walkabout or major public events,seemingly in a bid to reduce possible confrontations with anti-monarchists or separatists like the one that embarrassed William’s father,Prince Charles,when he visited in 2009.
Upon arriving,William and Kate will take a cooking class at the Institut de tourisme et d’hotellerie du Quebec (ITHQ).
They will then travel overnight aboard a navy frigate to Quebec City,where a tour of the historic fortified quarter of the city known as the Citadel is scheduled.
The couple will also meet with members of the Royal 22nd Regiment,the most famous francophone unit in the Canadian Forces.
The last event in Quebec City is a target of the largest planned protest.
William and Catherine are very likable,protest organiser Patrick Bourgeois told AFP,but are being used by Ottawa to give the world a false impression that Quebec’s separatist movement has faded away and its members now accept being part of a Canadian federation dominated by Anglo-Saxons.
The Quebec nationalist group RRQ has called for a rude welcome in Quebec City for the couple.
Bourgeois pledged,however,that the protest would be peaceful,and went as far as hiring his own security team to keep it in check.
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