June 29, 2011— -- Prince William and his bride, Duchess Catherine Middleton (formerly known as Kate), are headed to North America for their first official royal visit.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are scheduled to begin their trip Thursday with a swing through Canada to celebrate Canada Day and tour the country's territories. Afterward, on July 8, they will descend on the United States, where they are to receive a red-carpet welcome in California.
The royal newlyweds have a jam-packed schedule, but will be traveling with a scaled-down entourage. Here is a guide to their North American trip:
Mindful of the recession, the duke and duchess "want to keep their entourage to a minimum," an aide told People magazine. So out with the lady-in-waiting. In with Middleton's hairdresser, James Pryce.
The 30-something hairdresser at London's Richard Ward Salon has been the Middleton family's stylist for seven years. He styled Kate's long chestnut locks for her wedding in April and her engagement last November. "She still comes into the salon and sits with everyone else -- there is no VIP area," a salon spokesperson told People.
Middleton may be asking Pryce for advice on her outfits as well, since she nixed bringing a dresser along. The duchess, who has become something of a fashion plate, is reportedly bringing along 40 different outfit changes.
The scaled-down staff of seven also includes a couple of media experts to handle the expected crush of press. They include press secretary Miguel Head, who has plenty of experience traveling with royalty, including William's first overseas tour when he represented Queen Elizabeth, and Patrick Harrison, the Prince of Wales's press secretary, who is an old hand at North American travel, having toured Canada with William's father Prince Charles and Camilla.
Helping the young royals navigate proper protocol during their trip will be their private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former army officer, and his assistant Chris Kealey, who will act as the tour coordinator to keep the couple on schedule.
Sir David Manning, a former foreign policy aide to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Britain's ambassador to America for four years, will also tag along, coaching the couple on charity work, official functions and more.
This will be Middleton's first visit to Canada, while William is hoping to get to know the country better. Both plan to experience "the diversity, vibrancy of Canada, its geography and people," a source at St. James's Palace told People.
The duke and duchess are expected at Ottawa, Ontario's international airport about 2 p.m. ET Thursday. They will head immediately for the National War Memorial, where they will lay a wreath.
During their visit, which is being paid for by the Canadian government, the newlyweds will tour the Canadian airfield where Middleton's late grandfather, Peter Middleton, was based as an RAF pilot during the Second World War.
"Canada is very much part of her family's story," a royal source told People.
From the war memorial, they'll head to the governor general's official residence, where they will be welcomed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper with full military honours including a 21-gun salute.
On July 1, the duke and duchess will celebrate Canada Day, the official holiday marking the formation of Canada into a single country, by attending a citizenship ceremony and a parade on Parliment Hill, the public grounds of Canada's parliment buildings.
The royals are scheduled to arrive in the French-speaking province of Canada on July 2, flying into Montreal and traveling by ship to Quebec City.
In Montreal, they are to attend a tree-planting ceremony, meet with veterans and their families, visit the largest maternity center in Canada and attend a cooking workshop at an tourism and hotel institute.
They will arrive in Quebec City the next morning, joining the crew of the HMCS Montreal in Sunday worship. Afterward, they are scheduled to visit an organization that caters to street youths, attend a military ceremony and join in the 375th-year celebration of the city of Levis.
Prince Edward Islands
On July 4, the royal couple is scheduled to arrive on Prince Edward Island, the location featured in Middleton's favorite childhood book, "Anne of Green Gables."
Prince William will no doubt enjoy the planned search and rescue demonstration. A member of the Royal Air Force's search and rescue force, William is to participate in a training session for an emergency sea landing by the same Sea King helicopter he flies back home in Britain.
The royal highnesses will also learn about the island's aboriginal, acadian and celtic ancestry, as well as its culinary traditions.
The next stop on the duke and duchess's itinerary is uppermost reaches of Canada on July 5.
There, they are to meet with the Northwest Territories aboriginal youth and leaders and take part in some of the native peoples' activities, including traditional drumming, dancing and sports.
Calgary in Alberta is the last stop of the royals' Canada tour.
On July 7, the couple are to be greeted at the airport with white cowboy hats, a nod to the city's western hospitality. They will then head to the University of Calgary to learn about Canada's cutting-edge health research.
But the real fun takes place that evening, when the duke and duchess are scheduled to attend the Calgary Stampede, the world's largest rodeo -- including a bull-riding demonstration and a chuckwagon race. The next morning, they are to kick off the Calgary Stampede Parade, the second largest parade in the world, and travel in the motorcade.
That afternoon, the royals are scheduled to say farewell to Canada and hello to Hollywood.
Coming to America
The duke and duchess' short weekend jaunt to Los Angeles is seen as a working visit, not a time to mix with celebrities.
"The palace is really playing down any big introductions to A-list stars," ABC News royal correspondent Katie Nicholl said on "Good Morning America." "These tours are fun but hard work. It's really about forging ties between America and Great Britain."
That said, the couple's itinerary calls for them to hit the ground running, soon after their arrival into the Los Angeles airport July 8. The first thing on their agenda is an evening business event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel supporting U.K. trade and investment and shaking hands with California politicians and other high-profile figures. That's followed by a reception at the British Consular-General residence in Hancock Park.
On July 9, the duke is expected to play in a charity polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo Club to benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, while the duchess gives out the prizes.
That evening, they'll rub shoulders with stars from British television, film and theater at a red carpet, black-tie British Academy of Film and Television Arts dinner at L.A.'s Belasco Theatre. Prince William (who's also the president of BAFTA) will give a speech at the gala, which is focussed on spotlighting emerging British talent and building partnerships between Hollywood and up-and-coming British actors.
Day three begins with more philanthropic work, starting with an event to support Tusk USA, an organization that raises funds for African wildlife. Then they are to visit Inner-City Arts, an L.A. program that helps disadvantaged and homeless children through art. (This engagement is of particular concern to the duchess -- the palace noted that she's "extremely interested in how the arts can help young people unlock their potential.")
On their final afternoon in the States, they are scheduled to attend an event for military veterans and their families at Sony Pictures Studios where they'll help put together care packages.
Then it's back across the pond to Britain for a much-needed rest.