- Associated Press - Sunday, July 3, 2011

QUEBEC CITY (AP) - Prince William and Kate arrived Sunday in Quebec City after spending the night on a Canadian navy frigate as it sailed down the picturesque St. Lawrence Seaway, but once ashore they face more protests from French-speaking separatists.

The newlyweds are on the fourth day of a nine-day trip to Canada in what is their first official overseas trip since their April 29 wedding.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge encountered small but vocal protests in Montreal, the French-speaking province’s biggest city, on Saturday after being cheered by tens of thousands the previous day in Canada’s largely English-speaking capital of Ottawa.

Great Britain’s 1759 Conquest of New France and a desire by some French to separate from Canada is still a sensitive issue in Quebec.

Prince William and Kate sang hymns as they took part in an interfaith prayer service on the deck of the HMCS Montreal before heading ashore for a meeting with residents of La Maison Dauphine, a center that helps homeless youths.

The royal couple was likely to face more protests by French-speaking separatists outside City Hall where another protest is planned for Sunday outside City Hall where Prince William is due to make remarks.

Vocal yet vastly outnumbered protesters failed to cause any disruption to the royal couple’s events in Montreal on Saturday, other than aggravating some of the pair’s supporters.

About 35 protesters, including members of the separatist group Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois, or Quebecker Resistance Network, stood outside Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre in Montreal chanting “A united people will never be vanquished.”

The protesters were outnumbered about 10 to one by William and Kate supporters gathered outside the children’s hospital where the newlyweds visited cancer patients and the hospital’s neonatal care facility. “Give me one good reason why you should hate someone. They’re good people,” said Elyane Lafontaine, 51.

Protesters carried signs that read “Parasites go home,” “War Criminals,” and “Your fortune came from the blood of our ancestors.”

“It’s a symbol of English dominance over Quebec,” said 30-year-old lawyer Antoine Pich of the couple’s visit.

Dressed in black capes, the protesters were drumming and booing as the royal couple’s motorcade pulled up to the hospital. William was whisked into the hospital as Kate stepped out of the car and smiled at the crowd before going in.

The demonstrations were a rare moment of criticism aimed at the young royals, who have for the most part been welcomed with open arms by Canadians eager to see the glamorous newlyweds.

After leaving the hospital, the royal couple headed to the Institut de Tourisme et D’Hotellerie du Quebec, where they were met again by a handful of protesters dominated by about 150 supporters.

Many of the detractors loudly protested with megaphones and booed as the motorcade arrived. There were vulgar chants about William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and a few middle-finger salutes.

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