MONTREAL (Reuters) - Well-wishers outnumbered anti-monarchist protesters greeting Britain’s Prince William and Kate on Saturday as the royal newlyweds’ tour of Canada arrived in French-speaking Quebec.
No violence was reported, but groups supporting Quebec nationalism reminded onlookers the monarchy is still a touchy subject in Quebec, where Britain’s defeat of France in 1759 gave it sovereignty over Canada.
One protest sign in English read; “Parasite Go Home” while another read in French; “Free Scotland. Free Quebec” according to Reuters photographers on the scene.
The protesters used megaphones to shout over a line of riot police, but their calls were often countered by chants from the larger crowd supporting the nine-day visit that began on Thursday in the national capital Ottawa.
Monarchy supporters hope the tour will reinvigorate the royal family’s image in Canada, which they would also nominally rule if they eventually become king and queen of Britain.
Aides say the couple are enjoying the visit, and have occasionally fallen behind schedule after taking more time than had been scheduled to greet well-wishers.
The couple visited a hospital neonatal unit, then went to a cooking school where they donned chefs’ uniforms to cover William’s dark blue suit and Kate’s gray Kensington dress as they prepared food during a cooking lesson.
The couple are scheduled to spend the night on a Canadian Navy frigate as it travels down the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Quebec City.
Reporting by Louise Egan, Chris Wattie and Christine Muschi; Writing by Allan Dowd in Vancouver; Editing by Eric Walsh