By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Green-fingered: Kate gets stuck in with the shovel and dirt as William looks on from a distance
They have taken to every tradition and custom with gusto since their arrival in Canada on their official visit to the Commonwealth country. And today was no exception.
On day three of their visit, a tradition associated with royal tours to Canada going back decades was fulfilled by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - tree planting.
Following in the footsteps of a long line of royal couples, William and Kate shovelled earth on to tiny saplings as a living memento of their visit.
Showing Wills how it's done: A well-groomed Kate handles the shovel with ease - despite her glossy hair swinging in her face
And - even in killer heels, a chic dress and groomed, glossy hair - Kate proved she wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty as she led the way, smiling as she took the shovel before her husband and threw soil on to the sapling.
During the tree planting ceremony the Duke and Duchess brought joy and comfort to a cancer victim who was recently told he had only 12 weeks to live.
In scenes that brought back memories of the Duke's mother Diana, the royal newlyweds bent down to speak to wheelchair-bound Terry Joyce, 47, a former computer expert from Ottawa.
How did I do, darling? The Duchess shares a laugh with her husband, Prince William
Glamorous gardeners: Kate keeps smiling as William seems to be taking his task more seriously
Getting his hands dirty: William takes the shovel from his wife to throw soil on the sapling
Terry struggled to his feet and leant against a walking frame as William, 29, arrived but the royal told him to sit down and relax.
When Kate arrived she shook him warmly by the hand and told him: 'Let's get you out of the sunlight Terry.'
After the couple left, Terry, who lives in the Bruyere Hospice, burst into tears and was comforted by his doctor.
He said: 'This has given me a tremendous lift. It goes to show that we have a wonderful monarchy and we really need people like this.
'I was told a week ago I would be meeting them and I have been looking forward to it ever since. It has been one of the best days of my life.'
Seeds of tradition: Trees have been planted by a succession of royal hands, including William's parents and grandparents
Following in fine tradition: A glamorous Kate and William look relaxed and happy as they arrive at the ceremony
So happy: William and Kate looked every inch the loving newlyweds
During the ceremony the royal couple planted an Eastern Hemlock in the shadow of the Pin Oak planted by William's parents on June 21, 1983 - his first birthday.
William took a deep breath and looked deep in thought as he was shown the plaque bearing his late mother's name.
Later the couple met newlyweds who married on the same day as them - April 29 this year - as well as couples celebrating their 50th, 60th and even 70th wedding anniversaries.
Meeting the fans: Tiny Kate Johnston-Zemek, the three-year-old granddaughter of Canada's Governor General, curtsies to the Royal couple
Kate, smiled as Adrienne Charlebois, celebrating 50 years of marriage to her husband Denny, told the royal: 'I hope you will be as fortunate as we have been in our marriage.'
The royal couple looked at each other and replied: 'We hope so too.'
Later, Kate was treated to a curtsey by the three-year-old granddaughter of the Governor General, David Johnston.
Kate Johnston-Zemek has clearly been practising as she performed the elaborate manoeuvre in her pretty summer dress.
The native species planted by William and Kate will serve as an enduring symbol of the couple's love for 800 years.
The dazzling Duchess: Kate giggles during the ceremonial tree planting
Growing love: The sapling planted by the Royal couple will serve as an enduring symbol of their love
Its position means that it is surrounded by red oaks planted by other members of the Royal Family including the Queen's which has grown to a great height since being planted in 1977.
More than 120 commemorative trees grace the grounds of Rideau Hall.
The tradition was first started by Japan's Prince Fushimi when he made the first official foreign royal visit to Ottawa in 1907.
The list of previous members of the monarchy who have turned gardener and used a spade to help set a young tree on its way stretches back more than 70 years.
Welcome to the clan: The position of the couple's sapling means it is surrounded by red oaks planted by other members of the Royal Family
William's great grandparents George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother took part in a tree planting ceremony during their tour of Canada in 1939.
A further 15 have been planted by royal hand with everyone from William's parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, to his grandparents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, following the tradition.
They have all been established in the royal grove area in the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa - the official residence of the Governor General, the Queen's representative in Canada.
The tree planting was a first for the Duchess but the Duke has performed the ceremony in New Zealand and Australia.
Fast becoming a fashion icon, Kate wore a grey Kensington dress by Catherine Walker as she helped plant the tree - one of the favourite designers of the Princess of Wales.
The Duchess's mother, Carole Middleton, wore a pale blue Catherine Walker suit dress to her daughter's glittering wedding in April.
Monday, 4 July 2011
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER