Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Very Warm Welcome for the Cambridges as Canada Tour Begins

The Cambridges' royal tour of Canada begin in style when the family arrived in Victoria on a Canadian Air Force plane this afternoon.

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".

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. Collection

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.

My Theresa

And carried her L.K. Bennett Nina Clutch.

L.K. Bennett

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).


Itinerary for Sunday, 25 September

  • 10:45 am - Travel to Vancouver for a welcome at Jack Pool Plaza.
  • Visit Sheway, a charity working to support mothers with addiction.
  • Visit the Immigrant Services Society.
  • A visit to Telus Gardens to meet young leaders.
  • 3:00 pm - Next, a visit to Kitsilano Coast Guard Station to meet first responders.

Did you enjoy day one of Royal Tour Canada 2016? :)

Saturday, 24 September 2016

LIVE BLOG: Royal Tour Canada Countdown!

Welcome to our Royal Tour Canada Countdown Live Blog, we're so pleased you could join us! We'll be sharing real-time news updates, articles of interest, fashion nuggets, a fun giveaway and early photos of the Cambridges' arrival! They are due to land at 4 p.m. local time. Don't forget to hit 'refresh' to see the latest updates :) Times shown are in BST.

01:30 - William and Kate have arrived for the welcoming ceremony at the legislature. The Duchess has not changed her outfit but has added a clutch. We'll close the live blog now and get to work on a post! Thank you to each and every person who made the Live Blog such fun :)

00:55 A wave from Prince George. There was a lovely moment when the Cambridges posed for a moment and George looked back and waved to Sophie Trudeau :)

00:50 - How precious is this? :)

00:45 -  A great shot of William, Kate, George and Charlotte.

00:30 - With thanks to Richard Zussman "The Duchess is wearing Jenny Packham with hat by Lock and Co and Queens maple Leaf broach.".

00:25 - A closer look.

00:20 - An early high-res image of Kate and Charlotte.

00:15 - A better look at the Cambridges.

00:12 - Greeting the PM.

00:10 - Kate with Charlotte and George.

00:10 - And here they are! The Duchess is in blue and appears to be wearing the Queen's Maple Leaf Brooch. Kate is holding Charlotte whilst William holds George's hand.

00.00 - PM Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie waiting to welcome the royals.

23:55 - Any minute now :)

23:50 - The Cambridges have landed!

23:45 - FIVE minutes until arrival according to several reporters.

23:40 - The Mirror's Live Stream from the airport can be viewed here or click play below.

22:30 - We're about 30 minutes from arrival now. 

23:15 - There is a LIVE STREAM available to view at CTV News.

23:10 - GIVEAWAY WINNER - Congratulations to Melissa who commented "I always enjoy reading your blog. So excited about the giveaway, as I am an avid reader. " . If you could please email me at and we'll organise your copy of 'Green Tea Latte To Go' get to you a.s.a.p.!

23:00 - ONE HOUR until Royal Tour Canada 2016 begins!

Kensington Palace /Chris Jelf

22:45 - Let's chat about fashion next. What do you think the Duchess will wear upon arrival? A quick refresher on Kate's arrival looks on previous tours. Kate wore a navy lace Erdem dress when she arrived in Canada for the 2011 tour. Will she choose a look by the Canadian designer today?

It was a kimono style, pale pink dress with an orchid pattern and three-quarter sleeves by the wonderful Jenny Packham for the beginning of the 2012 royal tour of Southeast Asia.

The Duchess chose a scarlet military style Catherine Walker button coat with a matching red dress underneath for her New Zealand arrival in 2014.

And for April's tour of India and Bhutan, Kate arrived in Mumbai wearing an Alexander McQueen look in a striking print with peplum detail.

22:35 - For those asking about the plane the royals are travelling in, Emily Andrews revealed: "The Cambridges are en route in special Canadian Air Force plane with flat-bed seats & cabin for privacy. Let's hope G&C sleep!"

22:30 - Rebecca English shared a photo of William and Kate's convoy waiting.

22:25 - The press pack are en route to the airport.

22:15 - The Canadian government's official Tour Page can be viewed here. There's plenty of interesting information on the site and viewers can also send their greetings to William and Kate to mark the visit here.

Below we see Prince William's personal Canadian flag. "The flag of the Duke of Cambridge bears a blue roundel within a wreath of golden maple leaves for Canada, and shells, a symbol borrowed from his coat of arms. The centre features his Cypher, composed of the letter W with a coronet above it that indicates he is the child of the heir apparent of the Sovereign. Near the top of the flag is the personal three-point white label charged with a red shell, taken from his coat of arms."

22:00 - TWO HOURS until the Cambridges land.

21:35 - A selection of interesting articles ahead of the arrival you may enjoy reading.

21:25 - Two young royal fans are extremely excited as you'll see :)

20:50 - Royal photographer James Whatling shared a photo of the red carpet being rolled out ahead of William and Kate's arrival at Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

I think it's always a challenge for the media covering tours as they are away from their families. It's a particularly special time for James, as he and his wife welcomed a baby boy into the world last week. You can read an interview he gave with another great photographer, Mark Stewart, at CBC News. We'll have plenty of James's great photos throughout the tour.

19:50 - And here's a look at today's itinerary with timings in Pacific Daylight Time.

19:10 - Time for a Giveaway - Several months ago I was contacted by talented author Aven Ellis who was doing research for her latest book, Green Tea Latte to Go. The book's protagonist Payton is a Kate blogger and the book follows her trials and tribulations with work, love and everything in between. It's a fantastic read which I thoroughly enjoyed, getting to know the characters which Aven brings to life.

More from the book's description:

'For Seattle blogger Payton James, life is all about trying to achieve perfection. Payton is determined to be her best self in all areas, and she refuses to rest until she achieves it. However, an imperfect moment in a coffee shop completely changes Payton’s life. When her drink order gets switched by mistake, Payton finds herself face-to-face with a gorgeous British man named Brooks. Payton is instantly attracted to the witty stranger who is quick with his words—and has a beautiful smile.'

Aven has kindly offered to give away a copy of the book to a reader. Simply comment as normal and I'll randomly choose a winner before the Cambridges land. A big thank you to the lovely Aven. Wishing her every success with the book!

18:50 - There's really a tremendous sense of excitement ahead of this royal tour - perhaps the biggest buzz we've seen since William and Kate took George to Australia and New Zealand. Preparations have been underway for some time. Reporter Richard Zussman shared images from Government House.

Rubber ducks in the fountain for George and Charlotte :)

A look at one of the rooms the royals be using.

18:40 - Emily Andrews shared a video "This is the official welcome Kate and William will get later at BC's legislature".

17:00 - Are any of our readers in Canada planning to see the royals during their visit? If so, do let us know in the comments section. 

16:45 - Many of us had wondered when we would see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie with the Duke and Duchess. Yesterday the PM's office released the following statement confirming they will be present at the welcoming ceremony and will accompany William and Kate at several events on Sunday:

'On Saturday, September 24, the Prime Minister and Mrs. Grégoire Trudeau will participate in the Official Welcoming to Canada and British Columbia ceremony at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The Prime Minister will later have a private audience with the Duke and Duchess.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister and Mrs. Grégoire Trudeau will accompany Their Royal Highnesses on a tour of the Immigrant Services Society’s new Welcome Centre in Vancouver – the first, purpose-built facility of its kind that provides settlement, education, and employment services for thousands of immigrants and refugees each year. Later that day, the four will attend a youth reception in Vancouver where they will meet young Canadians who are helping to make a difference in their communities.
Their Royal Highnesses, the Prime Minister, and Mrs. Grégoire Trudeau will also visit Kitsilano Coast Guard Station for a first responders showcase. They will tour the station and speak to first responders about the issues they face every day in carrying out their life-saving work.'

16:30 - Keep an eye on the time in Victoria with our 'Canada Tour Clock' located near the top of the sidebar on the right. A look at the weather in Victoria, BC today.

16:20 - Royal reporter Emily Andrews shared news the Cambridges embarked at London about an hour ago. They are travelling aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force plane. Emily noted they are due to arrive in Victoria at 4 pm (midnight BST).

Emily Andrews Twitter Feed