Text of Prince William's Canada Day speech

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OTTAWA - Text of the Canada Day speech Prince William delivered Friday on Parliament Hill:

"Thank you minister and prime minister for your extremely warm welcome. Bonjour, Ottawa. Bonjour, Canada. Bonne fete, Canada.

Je suis tellement heureux d'etre de retour au Canada, ce pays magnifique, et d'avoir la chance d'apprendre a mieux vous connaitre.

I'm excited to be able to share this with Catherine, because she has told me that she feels exactly the same way. She heard about Canada not from her parents, but from her grandfather, a wonderful man who passed away last year, but who held this country dear to his heart, for he trained in Alberta. He trained in Alberta as a young pilot during the Second World War.

To be here on Canada Day, a day of unity, a day of coming together as families and as a nation, is even more special for us. To mark today, my grandmother, the Queen of Canada, 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 Queen has taken a great interest in the themes and program of our tour and looks forward to following our progress as it unfolds.

Speaking of families and of loved ones far away, this is an important moment for Canada, for this month the servicemen and women of the Canadian Forces cease their combat role in Afghanistan. This draws to a close an episode of which all Canadians can be immensely proud. Our armed forces have always led the world in rallying to the defence of freedom. From Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach, through Korea and the Balkans, to Kandahar province, the sacrifice of Canadians has been universally revered and respected.

N'oublions jamais. Ici au Canada, les Canadiennes et les Canadiens demontrent aussi leur force et leur determination. Je salue le courage des equipes de secours et de reconstruction au Quebec, au Manitoba, en Saskatchewan et en Alberta.

Catherine and I are also thrilled and excited by the prospect of the next eight days, especially being part of the Canadian family. It'll be an adventure that we'll never forget.

Merci, Canada. Merci, les defenseurs du Canada, la famille Canadienne. Bonne fete, Canada. Happy birthday, Canada."

Geographic location: Canada

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