Thousands of adoring fans are expected to attend events on the first day of the much-anticipated royal visit to British Columbia. Prince William and Kate, along with their children George and Charlotte, are expected to arrive in Victoria at 4 p.m. PT, at 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron. This will be Prince William’s third visit to Canada, his wife Kate’s second and for their children, George and Charlotte it is first visit to Canada.
They will take a short break after their arrival, but will make their way to the B.C. Legislature around 5 p.m., where tens of thousands of royal watchers are expected to welcome them and observe a with a 21-gun salute. Three-year-old George and 16-month-old Charlotte won’t be there, but the Duke and Duchess will be greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Gov. Gen. David Johnston, B.C. Premier Christy Clark and B.C. Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will begin their visit at the legislature by laying a wreath at the cenotaph. Afterwards, they will be welcomed by the Songhees First Nation. This will be followed by remarks from the Governor General, the prime minister, the premier and Prince William, along with signing the government of Canada’s Golden Book and B.C.’s Distinguished Visitors’ Book. The last public event of the day will be a performance by the Victoria Children’s Choir. The Duke and Duchess will then meet privately with the Governor General and, later, with the prime minister and his wife back at Government House. On Sunday, the family will be in Vancouver.
BC’s royal history: The British monarchy and Canada’s province of British Columbia have had a special relation over the years. There was an extended royal presence in Canada through the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, either as an official tour, a vacation, a period of military service, or a viceregal posting by a member of the Royal Family. Originally, official tours were events predominantly for Canadians to see and possibly meet members of their Royal Family, with the associated patriotic pomp and spectacle. However, nearing the end of the 20th century, such occasions took on the added dimension of a theme, and junior members of the Royal Family began to undertake unofficial “working” tours of Canada as well; in this method, royal figures are invited by provinces, municipalities, and other organizations to events which the latter fund without assistance from the federal government. The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and The Prince Edward, have all made several small tours in this fashion. These arrangements then continued on into the 21st century.