Kate Middleton's Royal Reinvention

U.S., Canadian Tour to shed light on the duchess' royal role.

ByKatie Kindelan
May 30, 2011, 3:16 PM

May 31, 2011 -- From Westminster Abbey to a delayed honeymoon in Seychelles to her local grocery store, Duchess Kate Middleton has been on the move since marrying Prince William in a fairy tale wedding at London's Westminster Abbey April 29.

Now, as the new royal and her groom prepare for their royal coming out -- a full-fledged tour to Canada and the United States later this month -- royal gazers are closely watching how the young couple will put their own stamp on centuries of royal tradition.

"This is our chance to really see the royal couple for first time since the wedding," ABC News royal correspondent Katie Nicholl said today on "Good Morning America."

William and Kate -- now formally the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -– will embark June 30 on a nine-day, eight-city tour that will take them from Ottawa and Montreal through the Northwest Territories of Canada before making their way down to Los Angeles for for a grand finale.

The overseas trip will mark their first as a married couple, and an opportunity for the newlyweds to showcase the new breed of monarchs that some are calling the "modern royals": going to college, having careers and marrying for love.

"They'll be visiting the rodeo. He'll fly a helicopter," Duncan Larcombe, ABC News contributor and royal correspondent for Great Britain's the Sun newspaper, said of the couple's planned itinerary.

"I think they'll have a few more surprises for us."

Even as they attempt to live the royal life on their own terms, William and Kate will not escape the scrutiny to which the royal family is subjected.

And, on this trip, that scrutiny will most heavily be focused on the new bride, and part two of her royal reinvention.

Middleton and the Royal Role

Like her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana, Middleton, 29, has already become a style icon in her own right.

See Photos of Kate Middleton's Style Through the Years

Palace watchers expect Kate's wardrobe for the U.S. and Canada tour to include three dress changes per day, amounting to 40 outfits in all for the young bride.

"Every outfit will be closely analyzed," Nicholl told "GMA." "But she's made a decision to travel without a stylist or lady-in-waiting."

While Diana famously drew from designers and fancy gowns, Middleton has gone for more affordable and accessible wear, including a Burberry trench coat that sold out as quickly as photographs of her in it surfaced.

The dress she wore to meet President Obama and the first lady last month in England was so popular it crashed the store's website for more than two hours.

Nicholl, author of this month's Vanity Fair cover story on the royal couple, told "GMA," however, this trip, for Middleton, will not just be about her style.

"It's not just about what clothes she wears but what she's capable of doing, of fitting into the royal role," she said.

"She is an ambassador to Great Britain, and what better opportunity to showcase this than a trip to North America."

Planned stops on the couple's busy Canadian itinerary include places of personal importance to Middleton.

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.

He died at the age of 90 last year, a time at which the couple delayed the announcement of their engagement so Kate Middleton could attend his funeral, according to the Daily Mail.

They will also make time for a more lighthearted moment when they visit the country's smallest province, Prince Edward Island, the location featured in Middleton's favorite childhood book, Anne of Green Gables.

The couple will also help open the Calgary Stampede, the world's largest rodeo, on their first tour together.

Ordinary Trip, Ordinary Life

It is the Los Angeles portion of the trip, however, that is making waves in the United States. But don't expect the duke and duchess to spend the last leg of their trip mingling among celebrities and Hollywood power players.

"The palace is really playing down any big introductions to A-list stars," Nicholl said. "These tours are fun but hard work. It's really about forging ties between America and Great Britain."

It's also part of a concerted effort by the young royal couple, who lovingly call themselves Mr. and Mrs. Wales, to live as much of an ordinary life as possible.

At home in England, they are making good on their word by choosing to live in a modest cottage in Wales over Buckingham Palace, and resisting the help of butlers and servants.

After the royal wedding, William returned to work as a search-and-rescue pilot in Anglesey, while Kate, pictures and media reports show, cooks and shops for the couple herself.

Palace officials say the couple will take scheduled flights back from Los Angeles, not the private jets long favored by royals such as William's father, Charles. And the Canadian government will pay the cost of flying William and Kate to Canada on a jet.

"William is very keen to put his own stamp on things," the Sun's Larcombe said. "And I think what's happening now is Kate is brushing up on her French skills to impress her Canadian hosts."

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