Will and Kate head home after whirlwind tour
Published Monday, July 11, 2011 6:27PM EDT
Prince William and Kate boarded a commercial airline flight Sunday from Los Angeles after a jam-packed trip that saw them cross Canada before stopping off for a quick weekend in California.
While in Canada the couple attended Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, visited the Anne of Green Gables heartland, stopped off in Canada's north and officially opened the Calgary Stampede.
In California, the couple schmoozed with Hollywood royalty, met with inner-city kids and the homeless in L.A.'s downtown core, and William even played polo in a fundraising event.
Following is a summary of the royal couple's whirlwind Canadian tour.
June 30 -- Ottawa: The couple's highly anticipated tour of Canada began with their arrival in Ottawa, to crowds that reached into the tens of thousands. The couple laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visited Rideau Hall, attended a citizenship ceremony, Canada Day celebrations and planted a tree during their jam-packed three days in the capital.
- In pictures: Royals arrive in Canada
July 2 -- Montreal: The duke and duchess visited young cancer patients, got a hands-on cooking lesson with trainee chefs, attended a fireworks contest then boarded the HMCS Montreal for the cruise up the St. Lawrence to Quebec City.
July 3 -- Quebec City: During their quick visit, William and Kate met with troops who recently returned from Afghanistan, and visited the historic Citadel before flying east.
- In pictures: Royals visit Quebec City
July 4 -- Prince Edward Island: In perhaps the most active stop on their journey, William and Kate attended a barbecue, competed in a dragon boat race, met with the media in a private reception and William even performed a "waterbird" search and rescue demonstration with a helicopter.
- In pictures: William and Kate arrive in P.E.I.
July 5 -- Yellowknife: After a cross-Canada flight, the royal couple arrived in Yellowknife, N.W.T., a city that William described as the embodiment of Canada, with warm, welcoming people, rugged beauty and a strong spirit. While in the region the couple ate northern Canadian delicacies, went canoeing, and William even took a few shots on goal during a street hockey game.
- In pictures: William demonstrates his wrist-shot in Yellowknife
July 7 -- Calgary: The couple arrived in Calgary where they donned Western garb and ceremonial white Stetson hats to officially open the Calgary Stampede. Though there was no royal walkabout in Cowtown, the couple watched the opening parade and toured the route in a motorcade.
Prince William, in a final compliment to Canada, said their trip "far surpassed" their expectations. "Our promise to Canada is that we shall return," he said.
July 8 -- California: During their quick three-day visit to California -- the only U.S. stop on the tour -- the royal couple held a fundraiser that included a polo match. Glitz aside, they also met with military veterans and toured Los Angeles' Skid Row, one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the U.S.
July 10 -- homeward bound: When the itinerary was complete, the couple and their entourage, in a surprising move, boarded a British Airways commercial flight on Sunday for the trip back to London. According to reports the group of 14 flew first-class.