WILLIAM AND CATHERINE SPEND THEIR FINAL DAY OF THEIR CANADIAN TOUR IN CALGARY, FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2011 – AND BID CANADA FAREWELL
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent their final day of their official tour of Canada, in the western city of Calgary, Alberta. The couple visited the world famous Calgary Stampede. The ten-day extravaganza is held annually in Calgary and consists of rodeos, exhibitions, parades and races. It is one of the world’s richest rodeos and attracts one million visitors a year. On Friday morning, William and Catherine officially opened the Calgary Stampede by giving a push to the klaxon, the horn used traditionally to start the wagon races off. The couple watched the parade from the stands. In the spirit of the stampede, William and Catherine wore their white cowboy hats, jeans, large belt buckles and boots. They appeared to be delighted to take in the Western flavor of the visit, smiling broadly during their stampede visit.
The Duke and Duchess also visited the Calgary Zoo for a science and technology presentation. At Calgary Rotary Challenger Park, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a solemn tribute to Canadian soldiers who died in service in Afghanistan. From Calgary, William and Catherine bid a fond farewell to Canada as their official tour ended. At the farewell ceremony in Calgary Airport, a crowd of 3000 people greeted William and Catherine.
There was a touching moment when Frances Miller, an 81-tear-old Alberta woman, gave Catherine an official farewell bouquet. It turns out that Frances was originally supposed to have presented a bouquet to William’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) when she and King George VI toured Canada in 1939. But the train carrying the monarchs never stopped where Frances was waiting and so she never had her chance to give the bouquet. When tour organizers heard the story, Frances was naturally chosen to give the flowers to the duchess. “I never, ever in my wildest dreams ever thought anything like this would happen,” Miller is quoted as saying. William and Catherine spent some moments graciously accepting the flowers from Frances, who was given her second chance at last to present flowers to royalty 72 years after originally planned.
The Duchess of Cambridge for her final farewell, wore a striking red dress and matching coat and the Canadian Maple Leaf brooch lent by the Queen. The color of the dress and brooch were no doubt, in tribute to Canada, the country that has hosted the couple for the past nine days.