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Jul
8

Calamity Kate and Buffalo Will Arrive in Canadian Wild West

The Royal Couple Enjoy Calgary's Traditional Western Rodeo and Stampede

Moseying into Calgary on a dignified 1912 stagecoach, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got to experience the Canadian Wild West Thursday.

Calgary, an oil-rich town in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, annually hosts a rodeo known as "the greatest outdoor show on earth" and a 10-day stampede. Prince William and Duchess Catherine arrived to launch the festivities, reports the Daily Mail.

Following custom for a cowboy welcome of hospitality, the people of Calgary "white hatted" the two, giving each a white cowboy hat made of rabbit fur by the local milliners, Smithbilt. Hat makers since 1919, Smithbilt has also given hats to Tony Blair, George W Bush and Kevin Costner.

The royal couple sported traditional Western dress: Will in blue Levis and a pair of boots given to him by the Canadian government, Kate also wearing jeans, a loose-fitting blouse and her very own cowboy boots.

After dismounting from their stagecoach, a relaxed William began the cattle stampede by throwing a stone, known as a stove, into the back of a chuck wagon; the mode of transport used by original pioneers.

"I'll give it a go," William joked, to which Kate replied, "Good luck."

After throwing the stone, the couple transitioned to a platform overlooking the rodeo pen chock-full of bull riders.

The first to impress William and Kate were 3-year-old Georgia Knoschuck and 5-year-old Colton Powell, who are mutton busters, or children who ride a bucking sheep bareback.

While watching, Kate turned to William, smiling, and declared, "So cute. He's so young, so brave."

Next up was veteran professional Schott Schniffer, 31, riding a 1,725-pound, angry bull.

After watching the professionals, the royal couple hopped into the bullpen themselves for a closer look. At one point, a jubilant William attempted to climb into the ring with the beasts, but one look from his nervous wife, and a gesture with her finger to come back, had the devoted husband return to her side.

William then put his arm around his bride's waist, whispering, "It's so nice to be in jeans."

At the end of their fun day, the delighted duke gave a speech, thanking the Canadian people for their warmth and welcome, declaring, "Canada has far surpassed all that we were promised. Our promise to Canada is that we shall return."

A slideshow of the royal couple's day.

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