This artist's rendering provided by the Canadian government shows the design of the personal flag to be used by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, while he is on his visit to Canada. (AP)

Except this year, the royal couple is coming for a visit, and so preparations have been ratcheted up a notch, or 10. Crowds in Ottawa, where Prince William and Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, will spend Canada Day (July 1), and kick off their nine-day tour, are expected to exceed half a million.

When Queen Elizabeth II visited Canada Day last year, the fervor was nowhere near this year’s. International journalists covering the queen on Canada Day: 18. International journalists covering the royal couple on Canada Day: an incredible 274.

Prince William also got his own personal flag made for the visit, which was unveiled by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday, and will be flown from any building or vehicle he is in during his stay (see above).

Upon their arrival, the royal couple will be treated to a new piece of music created just for them by the Pipe Major, or director of bagpipe music. The piece is called “St. Andrews Courtship,” a saccharine nod to where the couple first met. If that’s the only musical performance planned for their trip, the queen wins on at least one front. Go to 2:29 to see a pretty killer gospel choir performing at her visit last year: