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Prince William, Catherine visit Northwest Territories on Canadian tour

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Royal couple have made the right impression on Canada visit, royal historian says
  • Prince William and Catherine will tour Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories
  • Plans include traditional aboriginal activities and a visit with Youth Parliament
  • The couple will wrap up their Canadian tour in Alberta before heading to the United States

(CNN) -- Prince William and his wife Catherine will make the northernmost stops of their Canadian tour Tuesday when they visit sites in the Northwest Territories.

The couple will take part in customary aboriginal activities, including traditional drumming, dancing and sports, at Somba K'e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, on Tuesday morning.

In the afternoon, William and Catherine -- formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- are scheduled to speak at a session of Youth Parliament.

Later Tuesday, the royal couple will meet members of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, part-time reservists who patrol Canada's desolate northwest to conduct surveillance and assert the country's sovereignty in the region.

The duke and duchess will wrap up the sixth day of their Canadian tour by meeting with aboriginal elders and young adults from the Northwest Territories.

The couple have been hitting all the right marks so far, said royal historian Carolyn Harris, a doctoral candidate at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.

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"They've really been making a good impression and attracting positive feedback," Harris said on CNN's "American Morning."

Unlike the 1983 visit of William's parents, Prince Charles and Diana, during which Diana seemed to overshadow her husband, William and Catherine seem to be comfortably sharing the spotlight, Harris said.

They have been putting for a "very relaxed vibe," she said.

For instance, on Monday, intermittent rain didn't stop William and Catherine from enjoying a host of events in Prince Edward Island, including racing in dueling dragon boats and participating in a "smudging" -- a traditional welcoming ceremony.

The royals' day on the island -- which borders the Atlantic Ocean -- began with a visit to Province House, the second-oldest active legislature building in Canada. They greeted many of the hundreds of people who had gathered for a look at the newlyweds.

Afterward, the couple headed to Dalvay-by-the-Sea. There, Prince William -- a military helicopter pilot by training -- joined his Canadian counterparts in taking part in a "waterbird" emergency landing in a nearby lake.

In the exercise, which was originated by Canadian armed forces for use in search-and-rescue missions, the helicopter's engine is cut off and it then lands in the water. When it is about one-quarter submerged, the propellers are restarted to bring the helicopter back to toward the sky.

William and Catherine are expected to visit a total of four provinces during their nine-day tour -- their first official foreign trip as a married couple. After the Northwest Territories, they will go to Alberta.

Their upbeat, if occasionally soaked, Prince Edward Island visit came a day after the most controversial stop on their tour in the French-speaking province of Quebec.

William and Catherine attended a "Freedom of the City" ceremony at Quebec City Hall, where the prince addressed the crowd in French after being met by cheering supporters. Nearby, a small but vocal group of anti-monarchy protesters gathered.

Quebec's relationship with the monarchy has often been strained, with the queen met by booing protesters on a visit to the province in 1964.

The royal couple also visited Maison Dauphine, a center that provides assistance to troubled street youth in Quebec. They posed for pictures and seemed at ease as artists showed off their work. The prince played a quick game of foosball.

After they wrap up their Canadian tour on Friday, the duke and duchess will head to California for three days.

CNN's Max Foster contributed to this report.

 
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