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The Royal Tour: Kate Takes Canada!

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A few revelations from Prince William and Princess Kate‘s first royal trip together, which kicked off in Canada on June 30: Of the two, William is the more accomplished cook, but Kate is the more adventurous eater. Dressed in matching white chef’s jackets at Montreal’s top culinary school on July 2, William impressed the crowd with a perfectly executed lobster soufflé, but at an event the next day it was the princess who gamely downed a raw oyster. (William politely refused.) And when it comes to a little friendly competition between the newlyweds, neither one holds back. “No chivalry!” William teased as he accepted a bottle of bubbly after just besting Kate in a dragon-boat race across Canada’s Dalvay Lake on July 4. Most strikingly, the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, married for just a little more than nine weeks, have already mastered the art of husband-and-wife teamwork. “The duchess is enjoying the tour every bit as much as the duke,” a St. James’s Palace spokesman tells PEOPLE. “The duke is very proud of her.”

And why not? Representing the Palace with grace, warmth and style before adoring throngs of thousands, Kate continues to stun seasoned royal watchers with her seamless transition into royal life. “She’s a natural conversationalist, and that’s no mean feat when you lunge into a crowd,” notes royal biographer Penny Junor, who has accompanied the couple, both 29, on their nine-day tour showcasing Canada, a member of the British commonwealth. “She has taken to it like a duck to water.” Flaunting her knack for choosing spot-on fashions perfectly befitting the occasion, Kate in particular has felt the love from locals. “She has a big smile all the time,” says Elaine Gardam, who met Kate at a ceremony honoring her husband and other war veterans on June 30. Of course, it helps that the duchess has her No. 1 fan by her side. “I’m very, very lucky,” she told one spectator. “[William] looks after me as much as possible.”

Greeting children in Quebec City on July 3, Kate hinted at what may be in store for the couple next: After being given flowers by 2-year-old Raffaela Cheater, the toddler’s proud dad told Kate he wished her well with starting her own family. “Yes, I hope to,” she replied. First, though, the couple will wrap up their tour with a stop in Los Angeles. “They have an aura,” says Marie-Piper, who showed them around the Maison Dauphine, a center in Quebec City for troubled teens. “When you’re with them, they make you feel important. That’s a talent.”