Sunday, 25 September 2016

Kate in McQueen for Day of Engagements in Vancouver

Day two of Royal Tour Canada 2016 saw the Cambridges travel to Vancouver.

Following a hugely successful first day, William and Kate were all smiles as they arrived at Victoria Harbour to travel by float plane for their first visit to Vancouver. The bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities.

Kensington Palace shared this photo of the couple departing.

The Palace shared this photo taken on the plane with the caption: "You're looking amazing Vancouver!"

The couple landed at the harbour in the heart of the city to a loud welcome from several hundred royal fans.

The royals did a walkabout at Jack Poole Plaza, located by the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre where fans had been waiting since 5 am to meet the royals.

The dismal weather did not deter locals. The Vancouver Sun reported: "Many waved Canadian flags, and many more brandished iPhones and selfie sticks eager to get a glimpse of the glamorous young couple."

Kensington Palace said one of the key objectives of the public welcome was to allow the Duke and Duchess "to get an immediate sense of Vancouver's energy and dynamism". The couple are also eager to meet as many people as they can in British Columbia and Yukon during their visit.

A very dapper Prince William greeted the crowd.

The royals moved from Jack Poole Plaza to the Downtown Eastside where they visited Sheway - a charity helping vulnerable mothers overcoming addiction.

The focus of the program is to help the women have healthy pregnancies and positive early parenting experiences.  Where Sheway is located "has been identified as the poorest neighbourhood in Vancouver, if not in Canada. It is known for its sex and drug trade, violence and crime, alcohol and drug use, substandard housing and high rate of HIV-related illness". The Palace added: "The link between addiction and family breakdown is something that has been a major priority of the Duchess' charitable work."

More on the history of the organisation from their website:

'Sheway was established in 1993 in response to a growing understanding of the needs of pregnant and parenting women living in the DTES. A report entitled Targeting High Risk Families (Lock et al., 1993) revealed that approximately 40% of infants born over a two year period to mothers living in this area of Vancouver were exposed to alcohol or other drugs in utero. The rate of low birth weight was 33% in the exposed infants, all of whom were apprehended by child protection authorities. In this same period, hospital health care providers were identifying an increasing number of socially high-risk pregnant, substance-using women arriving at emergency departments ready to deliver and with no history of prenatal care. The health outcome, for these mothers and infants was poor.
In response to these concerns, a group of health and social service providers (including representatives of BC Children’s Hospital, the Vancouver Health Department, and the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner program) prepared a proposal for the development of a community-based integrated service that would meet the complex health and social needs of this population of women and children. In July 1992, funding for the project was approved and the service began operation in March 1993.'

William and Kate met with mothers who discussed their experiences of overcoming addiction.

Two teddy bears for George and Charlotte. Kate said "Thank you so much, Charlotte will love this, she loves her teddies".

More from The Mirror:

'Of course, the one thing that Kate and William always get asked about are their children. Three-year-old George and Charlotte, 16 months, have remained at Government House with their nanny today, while their mum and dad visit Vancouver. When asked about her little ones, Kate said: “I just can’t believe how quickly they’re growing, it’s amazing how time goes”

William and Kate met a baby as she was being weighed and Kate remarked "I can't believe how good she is. Whenever we used to put George or Charlotte on the scales they would never sit still".

Prince William was moved when he heard how Princess Diana opened a maternity centre in Glasgow, which Sheway has modelled itself on. More from The Mirror;

'Physician Ron Abrahams told William how Princess Diana had opened the Women’s Reproductive Maternity Service in Glasgow in 1990, which Sheway has modelled itself on. "Oh, I didn’t know, that’s good to hear," said William. "It’s probably in my briefing notes somewhere, I’ve got this huge file of notes I haven’t managed to get through yet but I’ll get there," he joked.
Mr Abrahams added: "It’s wonderful to have you here after all the work your mother did in this field. It’s like full circle for us with your family." William smiled and looked visibly moved as he listened to Mr Abrahams talk about Diana. “He was really quite chuffed.”
The royals were shown round the centre by Patti Zettel, Sheway’s manager and the clinical co-ordinator, Dana Clifford. “Thanks so much for having us here, sorry about all the chaos we’ve brought with us,” laughed William.'

William and Kate were joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie for the next portion of the day.

They visited the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia where they met staff and volunteers who support over 25,000 recent migrants to Canada each year, including some of the 30,000 who have arrived in Canada over the last year from UNHCR camps that are supporting those who have fled the war in Syria.

These little ones and their families have benefited from the services offered by the ISSBC.

The Duchess received a bouquet from a little girl in the playground.

The Duke and Duchess then attended an event celebrating young leaders in Canadian arts, music, sport, charity, business, and film at Telus Gardens.

Prince William and PM Trudeau chatting with young Canadians who are making a difference in their local communities.

The final engagement of the day saw the Duke and Duchess learn more about the first responders who work together to keep Vancouverites safe as they enjoy life in their city.

They visited the Kitsilano Coastguard Station in Vanier park and learned about the round the clock operation to support people who get into trouble in the waters that surrounds this coastal city.

Kate and Sophie enjoy a chat before engagements wrap up for the day.

Kate's dress is by Alexander McQueen. It appears to be a bespoke version of the Resort 2017 Collection style shown below. I imagine Kate and Sarah Burton may have collaborated on this with the Duchess undoubtedly choosing the red and white as a nod to her host country. It features long sleeves and a fitted top whilst the skirt is tiered. What do you think of this look? I'm a fan; I think it looks beautiful on the Duchess. Early reviews are mixed, and I expect it may prove one of the more polarizing tour selections.

A closer look at the pattern.

The Duchess carried a new red clutch bag - the Miu Miu Bow-Embellished Suede Shoulder Bag (with many thanks to Food Fash Fit). The £640 bag is described: "Crafted in Italy from plush crimson suede. This ladylike style has a gilded silver chain strap and opens to three spacious compartments - including a secure zipped section. Use the internal mirror to refresh your lip color on the go."


It's available in red and black at Net-A-Porter.


The Duchess wore a gorgeous new pair of red suede heels.

And accessorised with her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.


And new earrings (updates expected).

**The post will be updated with photos and info as engagements progress throughout the day**

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? :)