Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in Victoria, Canada on September 24 with their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, in tow to kick off their Royal Tour.
William, holding George’s hand, and Kate, holding Charlotte in her arms, arrived at Victoria Airport and disembarked the Royal Canadian Air Force jet. George grabbed onto Kate’s dress before taking Kate’s hand while walking down the stairs.
Once the plane touched down, the press, dignitaries, and people who were watching the livestream were left waiting for several minutes while the royal party stopped to put William’s Canadian standard in place before the plane moved to where the press were waiting. Then everyone was left staring at a door – because William and Kate love making people do that – before they finally got out.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau greeted the royals at the airport. Sophie looks really pretty in purple. I kind of want to hate those bows on her shoulders, but otherwise she looks great. And, you know, Justin doesn’t look half bad himself.
George wasn’t too interested in greeting the dignitaries and was much more interested in looking at a landing helicopter. Charlotte was interested in grabbing Kate’s brooch, as well as grabbing at her own teeth.
Here is a video of the Cambridges getting off the plane in Canada.
The Cambridge family color-coordinated in blue. Kate wore a new blue dress from Jenny Packham with a new blue Lock & Company hat featuring maple leaves, her G.Collins & Sons Tanzanite & Diamond Drop Earrings, and the Queen’s Diamond Maple Leaf Brooch. Kate wore her Gianvito Rossi praline suede pumps ($675 here, $482 here) and an updo.
This is a really pretty look from Kate. I could nitpick and say I’m not a huge fan of the collar or the poof on the shoulders**, but that’s just a nitpick. I really think Kate looks great here. Also, the skirt is a straight skirt that can’t fly away – way to go, Kate.
** Both of which remind me an awful lot of the bespoke lace dress Kate wore to the Somme 100 commemoration in July – I don’t think the dress designer was ever identified for that dress, but considering the similarities between that dress and this one, I wouldn’t be surprised if that dress were from Jenny Packham.
After dropping the kids off at Government House – which took longer than expected and made William and Kate late to their next event – William and Kate arrived at the British Columbia Legislature for the Official Welcome Ceremony.
First on the agenda was a stop at the Cenotaph to pay respects to Canada’s war dead. William and Kate laid a wreath, and there was a moment of silence.
When Kate dropped off her kids, she picked up her LK Bennett Nina clutch, but when she was handed the wreath she had to get rid of her clutch so she handed it off to the wife of the Governor General of Canada.
William and Kate, plus the party of dignitaries and security, walked through the crowds to get to the platform for the Welcome. They passed a few veterans who were saluting them and William stopped the party to talk to them, which was nice.
When they arrived at the platform, there was a military salute and William inspected the guard. Then they took their seats for speeches.
Justin Trudeau gave a nice welcoming speech (to some thunderous applause), saying in part:
“I know you’ve visited Canada before, but as any parent who has traveled with children knows, it’s a whole different experience when you bring your family with you. I want to commend you and thank you for introducing our part of the world to Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Though let me caution you from my own experience, if they’re anything like our kids getting them back on the plane after a visit to our beautiful west coast will really be a challenge.”
William also gave a speech (to much less thunderous applause), beginning: “Catherine and I are delighted to be back in Canada. We are so pleased that George and Charlotte can be with us in Canada this time round.” Then my livestream feed went out so I went to get coffee, and KP has not put his speech transcript online as of time of posting, but apparently he said something about being a “shy teenager” on a previous visit to Canada (in 1998) and how his French is “rusty”.
Kate gave William a pat on the knee after his speech.
Miguel Head and Rebecca Deacon (William and Kate’s private secretaries) were sitting on the platform behind William and Kate.
The crowd at BC Legislature was vast – about 10,000 people showed up.
After the Official Welcome, William and Kate signed the guest book and Kate received flowers from 14-year-old Vicky – who has cystic fibrosis and whose wish was to meet the royal family; her wish was granted by Children’s Wish, a Canadian charity which grants wishes to Canadian children with life-threatening illness.
William and Kate then did a walkabout, greeting the crowds who came out to see them. They were over an hour late to their final events of the day – meeting with officials back at Government House.
William and Kate first met with the Governor General of Canada David Johnston and his wife Her Excellency Sharon Johnston.
Then the royal couple met with Justin and Sophie.
I’m not sure when this was but Kate said George and Charlotte were “Super excited about the fact they were going to sleep on a plane.” And William said, “I hope the children aren’t tearing up the Governor’s House right now.”
Here’s a mini video of the start of the meeting – my god Kate speaks so softly.
— Emily Nash (@emynash) September 25, 2016
Here are a few more photos of the real stars of this trip: George and Charlotte. Charlotte’s hair seems to be lightening up a bit – it used to be darker brown.