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Canada divided over royal baby news

2013-07-23 09:41
kate middleton

Montreal - The news that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William had a son, Canada's future sovereign, divided the country along linguistic lines on Monday.

While English Canada generally welcomed the news, the reaction in French-speaking Quebec was more tepid.

Prime Minister Harper issued a message of congratulations to the royal couple whose first overseas trip in the summer of 2011 was to Canada.

"The arrival of the newest member of the Royal family, a future Sovereign of Canada, is a highly anticipated moment for Canadians given the special and warm relationship that we share with our Royal Family," Harper said in a statement.

Quebec less welcoming

Governor-General David Johnston, the Queen's representative in Canada, promised to send the royal couple Canadian-themed children's books for the future king.

News of the baby's birth dominated newscasts all over Canada and lighting engineers at the CN Tower in Toronto are preparing to turn Canada's tallest structure blue in honour of the newborn prince.

In Quebec, which has traditionally been less welcoming of British royals, the news of the baby's birth did not prompt a reaction from the nationalist government of Premier Pauline Marois.

Neither Marois, nor her usually outspoken Minister of International Relations Jean-Francois Lisee responded to the news.

There was polite indifference from much of the population, still recovering from the train derailment in Lac-Megantic that killed 47 people earlier in the month.

Internet users at news sites were less charitable, pouring scorn on their monarchist compatriots and the media caught up in the royal baby frenzy.

"Finally she popped," was one comment on a news story in Le Devoir newspaper about the baby's birth. "At least they'll stop talking about it."

"All this media hype about the birth of a baby is simply annoying," wrote another reader.

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