There has been tremendous excitement surrounding this tour, more so than William and Kate's tour of India and Bhutan earlier this year for two very special reasons. Prince George, who previously joined his parents during the tour of Australia and New Zealand, is undertaking his second royal tour at the tender age of three. Whilst it's sixteen-month-old Princess Charlotte's first tour and the Cambridges first as a family of four - a special milestone.
We were all incredibly excited to get a glimpse into the little Princess' personality and we saw some lovely moments between Kate and her daughter.
Kate held Charlotte as they disembarked and William held George's hand. Richard Palmer reported that when they got to the bottom of the steps attentive Kate crouched down and asked George, "Are you OK?" before stroking his hair and cheek.
The family were welcomed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie; Governor General of Canada David Johnston and his wife Sharon; Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon; and Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark and his son Hamish.
George meets the PM.
The Duchess greeted locals and told the Premier's son Hamish - who was dressed in a beige suit: "That's a lovely suit and tie."
Both George and Charlotte were impeccably behaved and surprisingly alert given it was midnight UK time when they arrived.
After meeting the Trudeaus and other dignitaries, the Cambridges turned to pose for photos. Prince George gave a wave but seemed far more interested in the aircraft. There was a very sweet moment when he turned around to wave goodbye to Sophie Trudeau.
Kate revealed George was "super excited" about travelling on the plane. That was very much evident as the Prince was spotted peeking through the window.
And Princess Charlotte enjoyed having a good look too :)
A lovely shot of William and George.
From there, they travelled to Government House - which will be their base for the duration of the trip - and dropped off George and Charlotte with Nanny Maria.
Next up, it was time for the official welcoming ceremony at the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. The couple were running a little late - arriving thirty minutes behind schedule.
A 10,000 strong crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of the royals.
This image shared by Rebecca English gives one an idea of the numbers.
The Duke and Duchess walk the red carpet to cheers from thousands of well-wishers.
Kate received flowers from 14-year-old Vicky Foster. Vicky has cystic fibrosis and, despite her need for continuous treatment, remains incredibly positive. She is a huge fan of the Royal family and was thrilled to be granted her wish of presenting Kate with flowers by the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada.
Kate meets locals.
Rebecca Deacon gathering posies of flowers.
Prince William mingling with the crowds.
Readers who were there said it was a fantastic event. The atmosphere was amazing and the crowd adored William and Kate.
The couple paid their respects by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph at the BC Parliament buildings.
William and Kate signed the visitors book.
The couple enjoyed performances of traditional dances.
William and Kate looked delighted with the warm reception they received.
The 2011 Canada tour was very much known as the "honeymoon tour" and we saw plenty of romantic moments between the couple; we're very much seeing that on this tour too. Below, the Cambridges with the Trudeaus.
During his speech Prince William reflected on the 2011 Canada tour noting he and Kate have never forgotten the welcome they received. He added: "We are so pleased that George and Charlotte can be with us...beginning their own lifetime of friendship with this wonderful country. Catherine and I have asked to meet as many people from as many walks of life as we can while we are here."
During his remarks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jokingly offered William and Kate parenting advice noting "it's a whole different story" travelling with kids but "if they're anything like our kids getting them back on a plane after a visit to our beautiful West Coast will really be a challenge".
Justin Trudeau offers Prince William and Kate some parenting advice for their visit #royalvisitcanada https://t.co/U6k9x6kUow— Global BC (@GlobalBC) September 25, 2016
After the welcoming ceremony, William and Kate returned to Government House where they met with the PM and Gov. Gen David Johnston.
Finally they posed for an official photo with Justin and Sophie Trudeau.
I think many of us agree Kate's choice of look for the arrival was very much a home run. The Duchess selected a bespoke blue fitted dress by go-to designer Jenny Packham. It's a beautifully crafted garment with gathered shoulders, a belt, and detailing at the collar and back. It's often been discussed on this blog how important tailoring is, and in this instance we're seeing a perfectly tailored garment. Kate's choice of blue came as no surprise - it is one of the colours of the flag of British Columbia - and family coordinated around the look.
A look at the back of the dress.
The sartorial tributes didn't end there. Kate's Lock & Co. hat with maple leaf detailing was another nod to her host country, adding another layer of elegant sophistication to the look and perfectly complemented by a chignon.
The Duchess wore a similar maple leaf hat by the milliners in red during the 2011 Canada tour.
|Canadian Heritage Flickr|
As with the 2011 tour, Her Majesty loaned Kate the Maple Leaf Brooch.
The diamond Maple Leaf brooch has quite a storied history. It was given to Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), by her husband King George VI in advance of their 1939 Canadian tour. On the cusp of war, this was no ordinary tour, but it turned out to be hugely successful. The Queen Mother treasured the brooch until her death, whereupon it passed to the Queen. The Maple Leaf became the central national symbol of Canada with the introduction of the Canadian flag in 1965, which uses a highly stylized eleven-pointed maple leaf. As the Canadian emblem, it seems fitting royal ladies wear the brooch when undertaking Canadian tours. Below, we see HM wearing it during a 2010 visit to Canada.
|Canadian Heritage Flickr|
The Duchess wore her G. Collins & Sons tanzanite earrings.
Kate completed the look with her chic Gianvito Rossi 105 Suede Pumps.
And carried her L.K. Bennett Nina Clutch.
Moving to what George and Charlotte wore! George looked cute as a button in the Blue Sweater with Wooden Buttons, Boys Plaid Shirt and navy shorts by Pepa & Co. The items retail for £42, £39 and £36 respectively.
Princess Charlotte looked adorable in a darling blue and white dress. The brand/designer is unknown at present, but we'll update should that change. Charlotte wore one of her Amaia Kids bows in capri and the Mercedes Shoes by M&H (with many thanks to What Kate's Kids Wore).
- An arrival video available at YouTube.
- A video from the welcoming ceremony.
- A video of William and Kate with PM Justin and Sophie Trudeau.
Itinerary for Sunday, 25 September
Did you enjoy day one of Royal Tour Canada 2016? :)