MONTREAL — Dozens of anti-monarchists protested the arrival of Britain’s Prince William and his bride Catherine at a Montreal children’s hospital Saturday during the royals’ tour of Canada.
The protesters were outnumbered, however, by hundreds of well-wishers at the Sainte-Justine hospital seeking a glimpse of the newlyweds on day three of their first official foreign trip.
“Parasite go home,” the protesters shouted, along with chants of “French Quebec,” “We will never bend, Willy go home” and “down with the monarchy.”
They pounded on buckets as the couple entered the building without acknowledging them, drowning out fans’ “We love you Kate.”
The demonstration was organized by a group whose stated objective is the defense of the French language in North America.
Its president Mario Beaulieu told AFP the royal visit “raises the issue of francophone assimilation” and “the linguistic purging of Quebec in which the Canadian government is complicit.”
“The monarchy is an obsolete institution, anti-democratic and sexist, and Quebec wants none of it,” he added.
Video game developer and protester Dominique Beaulieu, 38, decried the couple’s visit to Montreal as “Canadian government propaganda.”
The Sicurello family, immigrants from Italy, disagreed. They came to offer William and Kate a warm welcome and brought their daughter Victoria, 11, with a bouquet of flowers in hand for the duchess.
William and Kate’s visit to Canada continues on Sunday with a stop in Quebec City, where a larger protest is expected.