Meeting royals 'very exciting' for Ottawa's nine-year-old mayor for the day

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OTTAWA - Greeting dignitaries comes with the territory for the mayor of Canada's capital city — even when the mayor himself is only nine years old and his visitors are a pair of royal superstars.

Kellan Schleyer was one of the first people to welcome Prince William and his wife Kate to Canada as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped onto the tarmac at Ottawa's airport.

Schleyer was declared "mayor for a day" by the real mayor, Jim Watson, who even handed over the mayoral chain of office for the little boy to wear.

Kate bent down to talk to Schleyer, who uses a wheelchair, as he presented the duchess with a bouquet that included thistle, the symbol of Scotland.

Watson says he urged the duke to leave less time between this visit and the next one — the last time William was in Canada was in 1991, when he was Schleyer's age.

William replied he very much wants to do that, Watson said.

Kate said "thank you" for the flowers and asked if he picked them from his own garden, said Schleyer, decked out in a pink shirt and a tie.

"I said no," Kellan recalled. "I got them on Tuesday."

The mayor for the day said he really enjoyed his duties.

"(It was) very exciting because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said. "So, yeah. It's pretty fun."

Geographic location: Ottawa

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