Kensington Palace have just announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be returning to Canada this autumn. Their first tour was just after their 2011 wedding and the couple did not have the chance to make it to the west coast. This time around they will be visiting the furthest west province, British Columbia and the northern territory, Yukon.
Details about the trip, such as will Prince George and Princess Charlotte join them, the dates and exact locations will be released in due time but as I grew up and currently live in British Columbia I am going to take a stab at predicting some of the stops for the Royal Tour.
The largest city in Northern BC is a pretty much a given stop. After the birth of Prince George in 2013, the city of just over 71,000 invited the new family of three to come and help celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2015. However, Kate was pregnant and gave birth to Princess Charlotte that year and a tour just was not possible. While there won’t be any centennial celebrations, the family would still be more than welcome and would prove the perfect stop on their way to the Yukon.
This one seems obvious, in part because they will be more than likely to fly into Vancouver International Airport (which is actually in Richmond, a city over). Vancouver is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world due to its seaside location surrounded by the mountains. When George undertook his first Royal Tour in Australia they went to the Taronga Zoo, perhaps a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium would be a great outing for the children. The aquarium is celebrating 60 years of conservation work and has just undergone a massive renovation, including a new 50,000L Discover Rays touch pool.
In 1998, Prince Charles took Prince William and Prince Harry to the nearby Whistler for a private skiing vacation. This time around skiing season won’t be starting quite yet so Squamish provides the perfect alternative. The city is a nature lover’s dream with every activity you can imagine. The Sea to Sky Gondola offers “sweeping views of the Howe Sound, luscious coastal forest, and surrounding mountains”, the 10 minute trip to the top then allows it’s riders to walk The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge to access viewing platforms. Squamish would also prove a great chance to get an experience of Canada’s First Nations and visit the Squamish Lilwat Cultural Centre which was opened in 2008. Some of the centre’s highlights include traditional art, cultural and historical displays, wood carvings and a longhouse.
While I am sure a trip to Vancouver Island or one of the surrounding smaller islands will be in the plans I am going to venture a guess on Tofino. The popular tourist destination is a small town located on the west side of Vancouver Island and has a reputation for its natural beauty. Depending on when the tour happens, they may get a chance to go Humpback Whale watching which the season for seeing them typically ends mid-end of October. Pacific Gray whales, seals and sea lions are also very commonly seen on the excursions. William and Kate are known for their love of nature and Tofino would provide just that. A personal favourite attraction of Tofino is storm watching, which starts in November, where you can view 20-foot swells crashing upon the rocky shore. Once again, it would also be a great place to experince Canada’s First Nations should they not get around to that in Squamish.
I could venture a few other guesses including Victoria (the capital of British Columbia) and the Okanagan Valley (known for its vineyards- the Countess of Wessex visited in 2014). Another strong possibilty would be Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands along the north coast of BC to see the work being done to preserve the Spirt Bears.
Personally, I would love to see the couple tackle some of the issues facing Canada’s First Nations groups but if the tour to India is any indication they prefer to stick to sports and wildlife causes. But I’ve been wrong before! Only time will tell where these two (or possibly 4) will take us!