Highlights from the royal family's tour of Canada.
Following the royal couple’s 2011 Tour, this visit is their second official tour to Canada, and their first as a family of four. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children—three-year-old George and one-year-old Charlotte, who will be making her royal visit debut—will have a jam-packed schedule and a chance to meet many Canadians along the way.
The weeklong tour runs from September 24 to October 1 and will kick-off in the west with a focus on British Columbia and Yukon. The itinerary includes stops in Victoria, Vancouver, Bella Bella, Kelowna, and Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, and Whitehorse and Carcross in the Yukon. "They are really looking forward to seeing other parts of this beautiful country," said a spokesman for Kensington Palace.
The Royals have a jam-packed schedule (with approximately 30 events planned) and will engage in a number of events, including a visit to the Great Bear rainforest, sampling British Columbia’s harvest, going fishing sailing a tall ship, along with a focus on a number of environmental and social issues. "The Royal Highnesses will highlight the many Canadians who volunteer or work in obscurity. This Tour, more than any other, features important engagements with Indigenous people," said The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to welcome the royal family on Saturday in B. C. They will open the tour with a plaque unveiling for the veterans of the Afghanistan conflict.
We will be highlighting our favourite moments from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit. Stay tuned!
DAY 1: Victoria, B.C.
The royal family arrived in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday, where they were greeted by Justin Trudeau, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, B.C. Premier Christy Clark and her son and B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon.
The family stepped off the plane wearing colour-coordinated outfits in white and blue. Kate wore a blue Jenny Packham dress, which was gorgeous, but a bit of a surprise for many who thought she might wear red. But she wasn't without any Canadian elements: she wore a maple leaf brooch on her lapel.
Thousands of Canadian fans gave the royal family a warm welcome outside the Legislative Assembly in Victoria.
"Catherine and I are delighted to be back in Canada," William told the crowd.
"We're so pleased that George and Charlotte could be with us in Canada this time around, beginning their own lifetime of friendship with this wonderful country."
The couple were officially welcomed by the Songhees First Nation and the ensuing ceremony included a performance by the Victoria Children's choir, a 21-gun salute and an official inspection of the honour guard.
Next stop? Vancouver on Sunday.
DAY 2: Vancouver, B.C.
Will and Kate arrived in Vancouver at 11am on Sunday without George and Charlotte, who stayed in Victoria. As Prince William said yesterday during the welcoming ceremony, the royal couple is "very much looking forward to learning about how Canadians are tackling some of the biggest challenges of the day, including the environment, supporting young families, and the mental health of young people."
Kate Middleton in Vancouver on September 25.
Their Vancouver itinerary focuses on a number of these issues, including a visit to an outreach program for pregnant women and women with young kids dealing with alcohol and drug issues in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, the welcome centre at the Immigrant Services Society of B.C., meeting young Canadian leaders who are making a difference and speaking about mental health issues that first responders face at the Kitsalano Coast Guard Station.
The couple will return to Victoria at the end of the day.
Day 3: Bella Bella and Victoria, B.C.
William and Kate visited Bella Bella, an island village where the Heiltsuk First Nation live. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with chiefs, native elders and children.
Will & Kate in the Great Bear rainforest. Getty Images.
Due to inclement weather, the planned aerial tour was replaced with a boat tour of the Great Bear Rainforest, the planet’s largest temperate rainforest. This protected wilderness area that runs along the northern and central coast of B. C. is home to a diverse ecosystem, including the Kermode (spirit) bear. “The rainforest. It wouldn’t be authentic without the rain,” said William.
The couple participated in a ceremony, marking the dedication of the Great Bear rainforest as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC), which is a network of forest conservation initiative that includes all 53 countries of the Commonwealth).
Then, the Royal Highnesses headed back to Victoria, taking part in the Black Rod ceremony in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Prince William added a final silver ring to the base of the Black Rod (a ceremonial staff) to represent indigenous people and to symbolize the reconciliation of all cultures.
Day 4: Kelowna, B.C. and Whitehorse, Yukon
The couple will unveil a plaque at the University of British Columbia, a leader in environmental research.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a tasting at Mission Hill Family Estate to view the vineyard and sample some local food prepared by Master Chef, Vikram Vij.
In Whitehorse, William will inspect a guard composed of members of the Canadian Rangers and Junior Rangers. The Duke and his brother, Prince Harry, were made honorary members.
Day 5: Whitehorse and Carcross, Yukon
William and Catherine followed in the footsteps of the Queen and Prince Philip’s 1959 tour, visiting the telegraph office, which is now part of the MacBride Museum to learn about the Yukon’s history. The couple sent out a royal tweet from Whitehorse using the WWII morse code technology.
Then, the couple was welcomed to the hamlet of Carcross with some traditional dancing and music.
The royal family attends a children's party for military families in Victoria, B.C. Credits: Getty Images
They then went back to Victoria to reunite with their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who made appearances at a children's party held for military families. How cute!