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Royalty coming to town

Nicole Veerman
Northern News Services
Published Friday, February 18, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Northerners can expect to see Prince William and Kate Middleton in the territory this summer.

NNSL photo/graphic

Prince William and his partner Kate Middleton will be gracing the NWT with their royal presence in July as part of their first overseas tour following their wedding. - photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The future heir to the throne and his partner will visit the NWT in July as part of their tour across Canada, Premier Floyd Roland announced Wednesday.

The couple, who are set to marry April 29, indicated they "are specifically interested in visiting our territory while they are in Canada," Roland said in the legislative assembly.

The premier was informed of the royal couple's upcoming visit - their first overseas tour as a married couple - by the Department of Canadian Heritage on Tuesday. An itinerary has not yet been set for the trip. But when it is finalized, the department will release it, said Roland.

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Prince William and Miss Katherine Middleton on their first official visit to the NWT," he said.

"This will be an excellent opportunity to showcase the wonderful hospitality of NWT residents and some of the best of what the NWT has to offer to visitors."

During their tour, William and Kate will also visit Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ottawa. Their visit will take place between June 30 and July 8. The cost of the trip will be covered by the provinces and territories on the tour. The price tag won't be released until after the tour is complete.

Mayor Gord Van Tighem said this is a great opportunity to promote the city.

"They'll see that we're more than ice road truckers and ice pilots," he said.

Van Tighem said he doesn't know yet if he'll have the opportunity to escort the couple during their stay.

But if he does, he said they might get a ride in his 1952 Chevrolet.

"If it's good enough for the White Stripes, it's good enough for royalty," he said with a laugh. The mayor shuttled the rock duo around in 2007.

The last royal visit to the NWT was in 1994 when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Yellowknife, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit, which at the time was still a part of the NWT.

The mayor said he remembers the occasion, but he didn't get a chance to meet the queen because he was out of town.

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