In case you missed it, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children were in town last weekend. On Sunday September 24th the royal family touched down in Victoria. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau first greeted them at the airport, then again at the legislature buildings along with many other dignitaries. Thousands lined the streets and crowded the lawns in front of parliament to cheer as William and Kate stepped out onto the red carpet.
You’d have to be crazy to sit around for five hours just to get a chance to see them up close, right? Right. That’s why, at twelve o’clock I borrowed a camera, hopped on the bus and went to set up camp on Parliament Hill, poster supplies in hand. (Word of advice: don’t forget basic essentials like food and water.) Unfortunately, even after I had spent a couple hours decorating my sign, I had plenty of time to dither. A friend and I ran back and forth between different stretches of carpet, determined to find the best spot from which to spot the royals. Was it worth it? Absolutely. We made it right to the fence lining their exit route.
After a solemn ceremony at the cenotaph, they were welcomed with a twenty-one-gun salute, a traditional dance by the Songhees Nation, and vocals from the Victoria Children’s Choir. Prime Minister Trudeau, BC Premier Christy Clark and the Duke of Cambridge himself all gave speeches, which were met with enthusiasm from the crowd. After all the pomp and ceremony wrapped up, the Duke and Duchess and Trudeau and Sophie made their way smiling and waving, down the red carpet.
Pro-tip: if you want to say “hi” to royals, station yourself as closely as possible to a baby. They draw attention like flames draw moths. Fawning over small children and collecting well wishes and flowers, William and Kate made their way to the entourage of cars to be whisked off to Government House.
The young royal family were welcomed to Vancouver, Bella Bella, Kelowna, Whitehorse and Haida Gwaii, before flying home on October 1st after a weeklong tour.
In his parting statement, Prince William said, “we will see you again soon.” We certainly hope so.