The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with three-year-old Prince George and one-year-old Princess Charlotte, have touched down in Victoria, Canada. George and Charlotte were spotted peeking out of the airplane as it landed.
The Duke, Duchess, and their children were welcomed on the tarmac by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie. Governor General David Johnston and wife, Sharon also greeted the family upon their arrival alongside Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Judith Guichon. British Columbian Premier, Christy Clark and her son Hamish on the tarmac to greet the Cambridges, as well.
Both Prince George and Princess Charlotte offered smiles and waves to the media before being taken to Government House before their parents travelled to the British Columbia Legislature Building for a welcome ceremony.
The Duke and Duchess paid their respects to the brave Canadians who served their country and lost their lives at the Cenotaph. The couple laid a large wreath at the monument after a moment of silence. They also unveiled a plaque created as a tribute to the Canadian military personnel who fought in Afghanistan. William then inspected the Honour Guard. The couple made their way to the stage but not before William made sure to speak with a group of war veterans before continuing with the dignitaries to the stage.
Governor General David Johnston was the first to speak during the ceremony saying, “It’s such a pleasure for us to welcome you back to Canada, on Pacific Time this time around.” Further, he mentioned that he hopes George and Charlotte will make many more visits in the years to come to Canada.
Prime Minister Trudeau welcomed the Cambridges to Canada during his welcome speech saying, “I want to commend you and thank you for introducing our part of the world to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.”
He continued by giving a bit of parental advice saying, “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.”
The Victoria Children’s Choir performed “Gai le Rosier” and “I am the Song” for the couple before Prince William began his speech where he mentioned how pleased he and Catherine were to be back in the country after the warm welcome they received in 2011. He told the crowd that they are both looking forward to meeting as many Canadians as possible on their weeklong trip. “We are 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,” said William.
“We are 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,” said William.
The Duke made sure to thank the hosts for putting together a “unique programme” for their trip and for the endless support the country has shown to Her Majesty The Queen. He ended his speech with a few sentences in, his admittedly rusty, French before concluding his speech saying, “Catherine, George, Charlotte and I are very pleased to be here. Thank you for welcoming us so warmly.”
The Duke and Duchess then signed the guestbook for British Columbia and Canada. William and Catherine met Victoria Foster, whose wish was to meet the couple. Fourteen-year-old Victoria is from Ottawa, Ontario, and suffers from cystic fibrosis. The meeting was arranged by the Children’s Wish Foundation. Afterwards, Their Royal Highnesses undertook a walkabout to chat with the patient crowds and receive flowers.
Day one of the royal tour wrapped up with the Duke and Duchess returning to Government House to meet with senior Canadian officials. Their next stop is Vancouver for a series of engagements.
Continue to follow along here on Royal Central as we keep you updated on #RoyalVisitCanada. Follow our Assistant Editor, Jamie Samhan on Twitter for live updates as the week continues.