Kate Middleton, Prince William charm Canada

OTTAWA, Canada

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were met by huge crowds as they started their day with a Canadian citizenship ceremony. The pair helped to welcome the country's 25 newest citizens.

Then they headed to Ottawa's Parliament Hill for the 144th national birthday celebration, where a 21-gun salute and military plane flyovers were part of the pageantry.

The celebration was capped by a speech by the prince, in which he talked about his and Kate's family ties to Canada - in French and English, as he had a day earlier.

He said that Kate had learned about Canada from her late grandfather, "who held this country dear to his heart for he trained in Alberta as a young pilot during the Second World War."

On his side, he spoke of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, referring to her as "the Queen of Canada." The title drew loud cheers from the crowd.

The queen, he said, "has asked me to convey her warmest good wishes to the people of Canada, and her happy and abiding memories of being on Parliament Hill with The Duke of Edinburgh one year ago."

The couple will stay in Canada for nine days before traveling to Southern California on July 8. A highlight of their trip is a charity event at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club.

William plans to play in the match, and his wife will award the trophy to the winning team.

Other stops in California include a visit to an arts program for inner-city Los Angeles school children. The royal couple will also reportedly visit with close friends and wedding guests David and Victoria Beckham at their Malibu mansion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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