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Whitehorse greets Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with tweets and language lesson

Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, leave after touring the MacBride Museum of Yukon History in Whitehorse, Yukon, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
September 28, 2016 - 1:26 PM

WHITEHORSE - The tapping and beeping noises out of the old telegraph went on for what felt like ages, but when it was done 90-year-old Doug Bell asked the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to press the button.

Seconds later, William and Kate tweeted a royal welcome message using Second World War telegraph technology to tweet a message to the world.

Bell has been tapping out coded messages for most of his life, but Wednesday's royal tweet was a treat, he said.

The legendary Yukon wireless telegraph operator demonstrated his old-school skills during a tour by the royal couple of the MacBride Museum in Whitehorse.

"It was still in me, just like tapping out an alphabet," said Bell, who admitted to being much slower than he was during his days as a telegraph operator.

The duke and duchess were the first to use the telegraph to tweet technology to sign the museum's digital guest book. The technology was developed by Canadian IT company Make IT Solutions.

The museum has a communications exhibit highlighting how the community tried to stay in touch with the outside world from its remote northern location, said Patricia Cunning, the museum's director.

"We are very interested in doing hands on activities for the public."

In his day, Bell sent thousands of message from Yukon around the world, Cunning said.

The royals also gathered with giggling children at the museum for a First Nations language lesson. The children sang a welcome song and pronounced the names of wolves, bears and rabbits in First Nations languages.

The sun was out for the royal visit, but it was only was chilly 2 Celsius.

Kate wore a red, knee-length coat and William had on a blue blazer over a sweater.

The entire downtown area of Whitehorse was shut down for the Royal visit and thousands of cheering people lined the streets to greet the couple.

William spent several minutes chatting with a First Nations artist who carved a wooden mask that included flowing black hair.

The royals then travelled south to the Yukon community of Carcross where they were entertained by First Nations dancers. Carcross is community ringed by snow-capped mountains.

News from © The Canadian Press , 2016
The Canadian Press

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