Two Royals in a boat: Canoe-dling Kate and William wow Canada's Northwest Territories with their paddling partnership in a kayak

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

-Royal couple fly to Yellowknife on sixth day of Canada tour to experience traditions of native people
-Prince tries his hand at a game of shinty - street hockey
-Vast North Western Territories are home to only 48,000 people
-Kate and Wills presented with hockey jerseys with Cambridge on the back
-Duke and Duchess will then travel on to Calgary

By Rebecca English

Water babe: Prince William and wife Kate take a canoe ride at Lake Blatchford, Canada, lodge in the Northwest Territories

Prince William and Kate are being welcomed to the Northwest Territories with a traditional Native Canadian drumming performance by the Dene tribe during the royal couple's most northerly stop of their Canadian tour.

Kate, wearing a light-beige, knee-length dress cinched at the waist, and William in a dark suit, arrived at the Somba K'e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife, the sparsely populated capital, to a crowd of thousands cheering.

The couple are on the sixth day of a nine-day visit to Canada, their first official overseas journey since their April 29 wedding.

Bonding: Prince William and Kate take a canoe ride with elder Francois Paulette, left, from the Fort Smith area at Lake Blatchford, Canada

Scenic paddle: The young royals enjoy a turn past the pines, in blue water. They both show great paddling form

Lunch: Prince William and Kate enjoy some arctic char with Defense Minister Peter McKay and Canadian Rangers at Lake Blatchford, Canada on Tuesday

The couple will tour the region before flying to Calgary on Wednesday.

Yesterday, the Duchess of Cambridge got another royal first under her belt when she started a game of 'shinny' or street hockey.

Kate, who was a formidable hockey player herself at school, laughingly shrugged off calls from the crowd to take part herself – especially after she was handed a red sports shirt with her name – Cambridge – emblazoned on it.

'I would have taken a shot if I wasn't in heels,' she told Gloria Francis, 16, from Yellowknife, as she gestured to her cream £175 LK Bennett stilettoes. But she did throw the bright orange ball onto the floor to start the game.

The Duke was facing 6'3" goalie Calvin Lomen, as he failed to hit to hit the target with any of his three shots. He even begged 20-year-old Mr Lomen 'You realise you've got to let one in!' before trying to outfox the goalie by telling him 'top left corner' before going for the right.

Red: William and Kate pose wearing the sweaters of the Canadian Rangers after being made honorary members during a visit to Blatchford Lake

Teepee time: The young royals exit a traditional teepee at Blatchford Lodge, where they learned something about ancient ways of life

Pitching in: The royals help carry a caribou skin to a tent to be smoked while visiting Blatchford Lake. It's an authentic experience

Natural fabric: William and Kate learn about the craft of leathermaking from First Nations people, who smoke caribou hides

Quiet moment: Prince William and his wife Kate enjoy the serene beauty of the far north. It's wilderness not that many people ever see
But all three shots were either saved or went wide.

Afterwards he and his wife were presented with red Canada ice hockey tops with “Cambridge' and the numbers 1 for the Duchess and 2 for the Duke.

The royal couple were spending the morning experiencing the sights, sounds and traditions of Canada's native peoples after arriving in Yellowknife on the sixth day of their tour of the Commonwealth realm.

Around half of the region's population has native heritage, and members of the Inuktitut and Chipewyan tribes were among those who welcomed the royal couple to the regional capital.

Yummy: The young royals watch an elder woman prepare caribou meat for smoking while visiting Blatchford Lake

Fragrant: William and Kate smell aboriginal herbal medicines, which have been used for thousands of years by resourceful people in the north country

A group of drummers performed a prayer song for the couple on caribou-skin drums, considered sacred objects by the native people, dancers from the Inuvialuit tribe danced for their royal guests.

Then local teenagers demonstrated their skills in Arctic sports including the Alaskan High Kick, which involves balancing on one hand and kicking a target, and the 'airplane', a show of strength in which the contestants hold their bodies in a cross shape and are carried horizontally for as long as they can hold the position.

Although the Duke did not fancy his chances at the high kicking, he happily joined in a game of street hockey, or 'shinny', taking penalty shots against the goalkeeper in a pause in the game taking place at the Somba K'e civic plaza, a recreation area overlooking Frame Lake.

Helping hand: After a quick change, William and Kate make their way onto a water plane on their way to Blachford Lake

Bear essentials: Seated around a bear rug the Duke and Duchess took part in a sitting of the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife

Prince William took a shot with a hockey stick in a game of 'shinny' to the delight of onlookers (including Kate) and they were treated to some of the Arctic sports

They met the Yellowknife hockey team which claims to be the birthplace of the sport in Canada

Kate looks shocked as her husband misses his hockey shot during the street game in Somba K'e Civic Plaza

Prince William begged goalkeeper Calvin Lomen to let one of his shots go into the net but he either hit the puck wide or it was saved

Kate declined the invitation to play 'shinny' because of her Bennett stilettos. The above the knee By Malene Birger dress may have had something to do with it too

Old and new: Kate chats with one of the Aboriginal people of Canada, left, while taking time out to chat with the crowds at Somba K'e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife

William and Kate follow a bagpiper as they arrive at the Somba K'e Civic Plaza in the Northwest Territories

The royal couple were also given the chance to participate in traditional Inuit and Dene games, which are used both for entertainment and to hone skills necessary for everyday survival in the harsh northern environment where it is winter 10 months of the year.

These included the Alaskan High Kick and the One Hand Reach in which athletes lift themselves off the floor on one arm and, while balancing, use their other hand to touch a target.

The highlight for the couple, however, was taking part in a street hockey game known locally as 'shinny', using a ball instead of the traditional ice hockey puck.

While they were there the Duke and Duchess were presented with Aboriginal gifts to signify their 'mutual respect and affection' – a pair of platinum and diamond pave cufflinks featuring a polar bear for him and a similar brooch for her.

Later in the day the young royals were due to get a taste of the great outdoors – including some of its legendary great lakes - something aides said they had been 'extremely keen' to do.

They were due to take a float plane to picturesque Blachford Lake, set in an extraordinary landscape on the edge of the Tundra, where they will join young rangers for a campfire, before rowing themselves by canoe to a nearby island for a private BBQ.

Later the couple boarded a float plane and headed out into the wilderness. Kate was wearing an olive fitted shirt, skin-tight jeans and white and cream deck shoes while William sported jeans, an open-necked blue shirt and Timberland boots.

The couple gazed out of the window of their tiny plane excitedly as it took off from the water and headed out to Blachford Lake.

Meeting: William and Kate look on during an official welcome ceremony at the Somba K'e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife, Canada

Their day in Yellowknife is a real mix of tradition and modernity with these residents dressed in traditional native clothing

Kate is beginning to get the hang of using a shovel as she plants a shrub, today, and while in Yellowknife the couple were presented with hockey Jerseys

source: dailymail

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