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William and Kate to experience the cowboy life in Calgary

May 31, 2011
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The Duchess of Cambridge's first trip to Canada and the US is shaping up to be full of memorable highlights – including a trip to one of the world's biggest rodeos. Kate and Prince William will visit Alberta during tour to North America which coincides with the opening of the Calgary Stampede.

null© Photo: PA

At the event, which bills itself as 'The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth', the couple will have the chance to see bucking broncos (below), wagon racing and generally soak up the festival atmosphere. The newlyweds will visit at least nine cities and travel more than 14,000 miles in 11 days during their first official tour together. 

It runs from June 30 to July 10, and royal sources say the Prince and his wife are "very much looking forward" to it. Also on the schedule is a brief visit to Hollywood as part of a three-day visit to California, where they will promote some of the charities William is involved with. Officials have been keen play down suggestions that the couple will meet stars during their trip to Tinseltown. "The visit to California is very much about promoting charities," said a St James's Palace spokesman.

However, no one would raise an eyebrow if they met up with celebrity friends of theirs such Elton John and the Beckhams, who attended their nuptials. Guy Ritchie, another of their wedding guests, is also currently in Los Angeles with his pregnant girlfriend Jacqui Ainsley. A prime chance for mingling with the stars will also come if William attends a BAFTA function in his capacity as its president.


It's also highly likely the couple will meet up with William's cousin Lord Freddie Windsor, who lives in LA with his actress wife Sophie. Before their time in California, the couple will spend nine days in Canada, where they will visit the remote settlement of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. And Kate is, no doubt, looking forward a stop at Prince Edward Island, on the Atlantic coast (below). This was the setting of Anne of Green Gables - one of her favourite childhood books. 

With her well-known attention to the details, Kate knows she has a chance to charm locals in the francophone province of Quebec by speaking some words in their language. So just as she learned the words to the Welsh national anthem for her first engagement, the Duchess is busy brushing up on her French. No doubt she'll be helped by her husband, who is fluent – as are Prince Charles and the Queen. That isn't the only preparation the Duchess will have to do. There is the sizeable task of planning her wardrobe. It's estimated she will need at least 40 outfits for the tour, most of which she will pick out in London.


For this, she can call on the advice of her mother Carole, sister Pippa and Private secretary to the Princes, Helen Asprey. The selection of clothes is likely to include several High Street numbers from her favourite brands such as Reiss and Issa as well as some designer outfits. She may also want to include some local US or Canadian designers. According to the Palace, Kate has not decided if she will take a stylist or a lady in waiting. Both would perform useful duties – unpacking and packing, ironing her clothes, holding flowers she is given, and keeping the conversation flowing in a crowded room while people wait for a chance to chat with the royal visitors. The Duchess' reluctance to hire staff does have logic behind it, however. As one friend told The Daily Mail: "The more you embrace the trappings of royalty, the more people expect from you – and you can't reverse it."

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