Kate Middleton's early connection to Canada revealed
Published Thursday, April 14, 2011 9:44AM EDT
With royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton preparing to visit Canada this summer, as part of her first official trip abroad as the wife of Prince William, a family history website has discovered that Kate already has a bit of a Canadian connection.
Ancestry.ca says its historical records reveal that Middleton's grandfather, Peter Middleton, spent part of his formative years in Canada.
He first visited Canada when he was 17, arriving with a group of fellow students for a "School Empire Tour Party," in August 1939. Peter's name is found on a passenger list arriving in Quebec from Liverpool on August 11, 1939 on the SS Andania.
Then, a few years later, he was stationed in Calgary during the Second World War while training with the Royal Air Force at #37 SFTS (Service Flying Training School).
He was posted to Canada as a flying instructor and it would be more than two years before he finally saw military action, joining 605 Squadron at Manston, Kent, in August 1944.
Kate herself will tour Canada with her new husband this summer, arriving on June 30 for about nine days of travel, making stops in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and the Ottawa area.
Ancestry.ca has also discovered that more than 9,000 "royal" weddings will take place this year in Canada, in which either the bride or groom or both can claim ties to some form of royalty in their family tree.
The website says its findings were gathered by comparing its estimate of the proportion of the Canadian population that can claim royal ancestry – about 10 per cent -- with current marriage rates.