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Canada tour: Duke lands Sea King on water

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Media captionPrince William performed a "waterbird" landing in a helicopter for the first time

The Duke of Cambridge has landed a Sea King helicopter on water as part of his tour of Canada with his wife, Kate.

The RAF search and rescue pilot had requested the exercise ahead of a day of activities on Prince Edward Island.

Canada is the only country to train its pilots to perform "waterbird" landings, in which the helicopter's engine is cut before it is landed on water.

The couple later went head-to-head as they steered teams of dragon boat racers across Dalvay Lake.

William was guided through the tricky manoeuvre in the Sea King by Col Sam Michaud from the Canadian Forces, who described the royal as "relaxed and professional".

Image caption The duke won bragging rights over his wife when his team of racers won

At one point, he hovered around 40ft (12m) above the water, then plunged quickly out of the sky, sending spray up into the air.

Col Michaud said the duke told him his colleagues back home would be jealous he got to do it.

When the duke and duchess took to Dalvay Lake on opposing dragon boat teams, they began rowing furiously along the 200ft course, with William's team crossing the line marginally ahead.

As he was presented with a bottle of champagne as his prize, he said "there's no chivalry in sport".

The couple later took part in a traditional "smudging" ceremony led by Mi'kmaq chiefs in which sage leaves were lit in a bowl and the smoke wafted towards the couple with an eagle wing.

Kate cupped her hands and wafted the fumes up to her face first, followed by William who exchanged a few words with the elder.

'Crucible' of nationhood

They were then shown a display of local culinary delicacies, where the duchess tried an oyster before they both tasted lobster and clams baked on hot rocks.

The royal party then watched a game of volleyball on the beach and met sand artists.

After a search and rescue exercise at Summerside Harbour, the duke and duchess left for Canada's Northwest Territories, landing at Yellowknife Airport.

Earlier, the duke spoke of being at the "crucible" of Canadian nationhood as he and the duchess were welcomed to Canada's smallest province.

He said it was quite a moment to be in front of Province House in Charlottetown "where Canadian federation was forged".

Province House is Canada's second oldest active legislature building and was the site of the Charlottetown conference in 1864, at which the idea of the nation of Canada was born.

Premier Robert Ghiz welcomed the duke and duchess on the fifth day of their tour.

Mr Ghiz, who is married to another Kate, joked: "It's always important to remember that Kates are always right."

Royal Canadian Mounted Police accompanied the duke and duchess as they rode through the main street on a horse-drawn Landau carriage with the premier and his wife.

After their official welcome, the royal couple went on a walkabout, greeting well-wishers.

Some people had slept on pavements overnight to secure a good vantage point and the crowd was six deep in places.

Sixty-five-year-old Mary Fleming had spent the night on the street.

"I came down with my two daughters and we had dinner last night and just stayed here. We just love both of them, they're very charismatic and wonderful members of the Royal Family," she said.

"Kate is doing tremendously well, she has such ease and grace, as if she was born to royalty."

The duchess wore a cream knitted sailor-style dress - by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, who also designed the duchess's wedding dress.

Prince Edward Island is known as the home of Anne of Green Gables, a fictional character said to be a favourite of the duchess.

Clarence House has said it expects the visit to the island to be a focal point for well-wishers from across the Maritimes provinces.

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