GALLERY: Our man in Yarmouth’s frontline view of Canadian royal visit

Reporting on a Royal visit is a milestone for any young journalist.

So you can imagine my disbelief when I found myself just yards away from William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during their first official visit as a couple to Canada.

I was there on a press trip to experience Canadian culture in the capital city of Ottawa.

At this time of the year, the city is awash with red and white as thousands pile into the streets to commemorate Canada Day – a celebration of national pride marking the country's 144th birthday.

Leaving my hotel, I followed the swelling crowds making their way to Parliament Hill where the Duke and Duchess were set to arrive that morning.


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Everywhere you looked maple leaf Canadian flags were catching the wind in the cloudless sky or unfurled down the facades of high-rise buildings.

It was estimated more than 300,000 people had descended on the city to catch a glimpse of the Royal couple - and you could throw into that mix a massive 100 members of the media from across the world.

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So when my guide handed me my exclusive media pass, I couldn't believe my luck - I was to join the 'press pack'.

Skipping past a wall of security guards, I found myself at the heart of a fenced off area set aside for the press.

And I was not in the area for very long before I started to recognise some familiar faces. Standing in the searing Canadian sunshine delivering a piece to camera was former BBC Countryfile star Ben Fogle.

The television presenter was working with an American network to cover the Royal visit and seemed happy to see and chat to a fellow Brit.

In the time spent between filming, he told me that Ontario was like a second home to him. He explained he first visited the area as a boy because his family always holidayed in the countryside surrounding Ottawa.

Meanwhile, BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell was also making his presence known in the media section.

The legendary hack came jostling through the maze of photographers, journalists, and news anchors in search of a prime spot to see the Royal couple.

Whether he found a good vantage point, I couldn't tell you, but it would have taken something special to beat my own view. Pressed against metal barriers with a photographers' long lens creeping over both shoulders, I was directly in line with the red carpet where the couple were set to arrive.

And boy did they announce their arrival.

The sounds of marching feet and a brass band resonated above the screams of delight from the crowds as a battalion of Royal Guardsmen marched on Parliament Hill in their dazzling uniforms of red jackets and black bearskin hats.

They were closely followed by more than a dozen Canadian Mounties who trotted ahead of the state open landau taxi-ing the Royal couple along the closed off streets.

My first sight of William and Kate was over the shoulder of a security guard a few yards away.

The Duchess was dressed in red and white, and had a fascinator featuring maple leaves in her hair, whilst the Duke wore a blue suit.

They walked up a red carpet towards the concert stage, offering waves and smiles; those same wedding day smiles which made them appear bashful and overwhelmed at times.

The majority of the cries were for Kate and came from the photographers behind me who were desperate to get that prize shot of the new members of the British Royal Family.

The couple were accompanied onto the stage by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canadian heritage minister James Moore.

Prince William gave a short, but well received speech, in the middle of a performance which celebrated the diverse range of Canadian music.

He highlighted the couple's wish to visit the country because of Catherine's grandfather's links to Alberta. It was a tale which caused a cheer to gather in the crowds and a wry smile to break on the Duchess's face.

And the only thing which silenced them was the sight and sound of the snowbirds who rocketed over the parliament buildings during a blistering royal flypast.

What a day. Who would have thought I would be in Ottawa at exactly that time when history was made for the Canadians - and me!

For more pictures of the event click on the link to a picture gallery in the top right hand corner of the page.

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