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Royal Visit sends Will and Kate across Canada and to Hollywood

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"For a new generation of Canadians it's a new introduction for themselves into the monarchy," Moore said.

(Photo: Associated Press)

Sheri Gray, 50, of Manitouwadge, Ontario said her husband and her altered their travel plans so they could take in the royal visit. They arrived early Thursday morning to set up lawn chairs outside Ottawa's National War Memorial, where William and Kate are due to lay a wreath after arriving from the airport.

"My grandma was a big royal family supporter. I can't wait to see Will and Kate," Gray said. "I really liked Diana. It will be really nice to see her son and his new wife."

Her husband David called it a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"It's the next generation. It's like a breath of fresh air for them after the past they've had with the previous ones," he said.

William and Kate will do a walkabout at the memorial before heading to a reception where William and Harper are scheduled to speak. A barbecue for young people follows that.

This royal couple is expected to draw thousands and more than 1,300 journalists are accredited. William got a reception fit for a rock star the last time he visited Canada as a 15-year-old in 1998. He wowed teenage girls who wolf-whistled him when he visited Vancouver, British Columbia, with his father Prince Charles. William looked aghast at the commotion back then. That trip was the first official foreign visit for him since the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in a car crash in Paris in August 1997.

William will be celebrating Canada's birthday on Friday, the same day his mother would have turned 50.

He is due to say a few words at a number of stops. Kate is not scheduled to speak.

The couple will travel from the sub-Arctic to oil-rich Calgary, Alberta, from busy Montreal to bucolic Prince Edward Island of "Anne of Green Gables" fame. They'll sit around a campfire with young people, dress casual for the Calgary rodeo, join a cookout in Quebec City and hand out flags to newly-minted Canadians at a citizenship ceremony.

Harper is the most pro-monarchy Canadian leader since the 1950s, and his ambition is to foster a national identity that is more conservative and more aware of its historical roots.

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