The royal couple were casual for a barbecue with Canadian youth in Ottawa

By Simon Perry
June 30, 2011 11:00 PM
John Stillwell/Pool/Reuters/Landov

After a day of enthusiastic welcomes and thunderous cheers, Prince William smiled as all went quiet when he entered an informal barbecue Thursday night in Ottawa.

As he and wife Kate entered Rideau Hall, the chattering of 120 young people stopped. “Talk among yourselves,” he commented.

The royal couple were ending the first day of their north American tour at a barbecue for young people – that was hastily moved inside Rideau Hall’s Tent Room (with its red and white-striped canopy-styled ceiling) because of sudden rain showers.

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The prince spoke his aside as he and Kate began meeting five specially-selected young people at the party, which was billed as a party to celebrate the service “of Canadian youth towards a smart and caring nation.”

Kate, 29, had changed into a third dress for the day, a more casual dress by Issa, one of her favorite designers. The black and white wrap dress decorated with birds. She paired it with wedge-style sandals.

William was also dressed down in open-necked blue shirt and khaki pants.

After the initial receiving line, they split up and moved around the room. The duchess spoke to a table asking if they all worked together or at different places. One of them asked if they were suffering from the day of traveling. “We are fine, not too bad,” she replied.

Before they met the couple, a group of young women were anxiously waiting and one told PEOPLE, “It’s certainly a once in a lifetime experience to be here and meet them.”. Jessica Bolduc, 25, a volunteer and board member with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples also said, “the work that they do with youth and charities is really close to what everybody here is doing. It’s really nice to share experiences.”

Natalie Lacroix, 20, from the Canadian Cancer Society, said, “Everyone loves them. They are the peoples’ royalty and people want to see them here.”

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On the evening’s menu was a selection of dishes showcasing food from all corners of Canada: Yukon Arctic Char Caviar, Winnipeg smoked Goldeye and Prince Edward Island cheddar parfait, and Banks Island Muskox Prosciutto with Alberta cheese crackling. Niagara Peninsula sun-dried sour cherry and white chocolate cheesecake lollipops and fresh Quebec strawberries finished it off.