Prince William, Kate to visit Ottawa for Canada Day
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Wednesday, February 16, 2011 8:52PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 3:56AM EDT
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be celebrating Canada Day on Parliament Hill this year, as part of their first official trip abroad as a married couple.
The Prime Minister's Office confirmed Wednesday that the soon-to-be married couple will travel to Canada later this summer.
In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed the news that William and Kate had accepted his prior invitation to visit the country.
"Canada looks forward to welcoming the young couple this summer and providing them with all that our country has to offer -- including, of course, the special hospitality and warmth reserved for members of the Royal Family," Harper said in a statement.
The prime minister said he hoped the tour "will be the start of a lasting relationship with Canada by the Royal Couple."
Gov. Gen. David Johnston called it his "great privilege" to announce the upcoming visit, which he said would give Canadians the chance "to greet the newly married couple and demonstrate our collective warmth and hospitality."
William and Kate will start their cross-country trip when they arrive in Canada on June 30, about two months after their wedding at London's Westminster Abbey.
Their tour will last until July 8 and will include stops in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ottawa, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
Kevin MacLeod, the Canadian secretary to Queen Elizabeth is co-ordinating the tour.
While the detailed itinerary for their tour has not yet been released, Heritage Minister James Moore confirmed the royal couple will be in the capital for Canada Day.
"I think it will be a great kick off to their visit to Canada," Moore told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Moore said that Ottawa will pay for the royal tour using funds that are routinely put aside for foreign visits.
While he did not provide reporters with a specific figure for the cost of the visit, Moore said such visits "are not frankly, nearly as expensive as some people may think."
The heritage minister predicted that the prince and his bride would be warmly received by Canadians at every stop on their tour.
William has not been to Canada since he was a teenager.
He last visited in March 1998, when he went skiing in Whistler, B.C., with his father and brother.
The prince also travelled to Canada as a child in 1991, along with Prince Harry and their parents.
William's latest trip to Canada will come days after his 29th birthday. Kate, who is the same age, turned 29 in January.
With files from The Canadian Press