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Prince William practices water landings in Canada

Prince William put his military helicopter training to the test Monday with his first water landing before crowds in Canada, where he and his wife, Kate, have been on their first official overseas trip since their wedding.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Prince William put his military helicopter training to the test Monday with his first water landing before crowds in Canada, where he and his wife, Kate, have been on their first official overseas trip since their wedding.

The Duke of Cambridge climbed into the cockpit of a Sea King helicopter at Dalvay by-the-Sea, a scenic resort along Prince Edward Island's north shore for the military training exercise. Prince William, a Royal Air Force rescue helicopter pilot, requested the simulated emergency landing procedure as part of his visit.

Dressed in an olive flight suit and helmet, the prince co-piloted a demonstration round to give him an idea of the single-engine emergency landing procedure.

From the water, William piloted a take-off from the water and hovered in the air before executing a dual-engine landing on the water before taxiing around as Kate watched her prince from the ground. William performed the take-off, hover and dual-engine water landing several times.

Canada is the only country that trains its Sea King helicopter pilots to do a controlled landing on water should there be an emergency. The Sea King, which William flies back in the U.K, has the ability to land on water because of its amphibious hull.

Before taking to the water, though, the royal couple were welcomed to their third Canadian province on Monday with cheering, waving crowds excited to catch a glimpse of royalty at Province House. The site is the home of Prince Edward Island's legislature and of a historic meeting 146 years ago that paved the way for Confederation, when Canada laid the foundation for uniting the provinces and territories to form a country.

Kate sported a cream dress by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, who designed the wedding grown she wore during their wedding ceremony April 29. William wore his traditional dark suit and red tie.

For the third time during their nine-day Canadian tour, William spoke in French and English to address the crowds.

"We have both so looked forward to this day, and discovering more about your beautiful island," he said.

The royal pair delighted the several thousand people gathered at the site by walking over to shake some of their hands and stop for a quick chat, while others handed them flowers, including the east coast Canadian flower, Lupins, and hand-held Canadian flags, while snapping photos.

Jennifer Thomson, 26, had a poster saying "Kate can I borrow your outfit?"

"I think she's setting a new fashion trend and I personally love them and would love to wear them," she said, adding it was important for the couple to come to Canada. "I think it will only strengthen the ties between Canada and England and the monarchy."

The smiling couple hopped into a landau led by Canadian mounties to take them to Confederation Landing for another walk-about before heading to Dalvay by-the-Sea, a scenic resort along the island's north shore. At the resort, William will pilot a Canadian military helicopter and land it on the water for the first time as part of a military emergency training exercise.

Later Monday, the royal pair will get some exercise by participating in a dragon boat race, with the two steering opposing teams before heading to meet an actress that plays the fictional star of Anne of Green Gables, which Prince Edward Island is famed for.

On Sunday the couple thrilled hundreds of adoring fans in Quebec with an unscheduled walkabout in a city that was the site of the key British victory in the conquest of the French.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are officially known, encountered small but vocal protests, but that did not deter the couple from charming the Quebeckers with an unexpected walkabout. The royal couple went to the barricade, chatting and shaking hands with enthusiastic supporters in the square around City Hall before leaving by motorcade.

The newlyweds on Monday were on the fifth of a nine-day trip to Canada, part of their first official overseas trip since their April 29 wedding. They leave for a three-day trip to California on July 8.


Associated Press Writer Charmaine Noronha in Toronto contributed to this story.