The Earl and Countess of Wessex are currently on tour in Canada and have been undertaking numerous engagements, keeping them very busy!
On Sunday Sophie took a look at spinal cord research and visited Blusson Spinal Cord Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, with links to The Rick Hansen Institute supports the iCord (International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries) physical activity research centre for spinal cord injury. Rick Hansen Institute is an arm of the Rick Hansen Foundation, and is committed to seeking out and putting into practice treatments for spinal cord injuries.
A small crowd greeted Sophie as she went into the centre, and she was presented with a posy of flowers. Rick Hansen himself showed Sophie around.
The Countess was then shown an exoskeleton, which physically supported a volunteer, enabling him to stand and even walk. Those who have since had children despite injuries to their spines got a chance to speak with Sophie too. She took the time to speak with everyone in depth, before wrapping up her visit.
Meanwhile, The Earl went for a working lunch at the Vancouver Art Gallery as a Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation; eventually, Edward will be created The Duke of Edinburgh in order to carry on his father’s award scheme.
Sophie then met up with her husband and visited the north coast of Vancouver, taking a tour of the Capilano River Hatchery, which breeds salmon. The Trans Canada Trail through Capilano River Regional Park was the couple’s next stop, trekking through the Canadian woods.
The Earl and Countess are today in Kelowna, ending their short tour of Canada. Royal Central will report on the rest of their tour shortly, and you can read about The Countess’s visit to Victoria General Hospital and Edward’s Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award ceremony here and The Earl’s engagement here.
Photo: with thanks to Rick Hansen Foundation