UK

Cambridges touch down in Canada

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arriving in Canada Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The family landed in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Canada with their children, five years after they visited the country as newly-weds.

The couple, along with Prince George, three, and 16-month-old Princess Charlotte, were greeted by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire after landing in Victoria.

William said his children were starting a "lifetime of friendship" with Canada.

The trip is Charlotte's first official royal visit.

Royal visit 'will help tell Canada's story'

In pictures: Royals on Canada tour

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionNo royal high five for PM Trudeau
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The royal couple have met Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregorire
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Thousands gathered outside the Legislative Assembly in Victoria to see the royal couple

Later, in Victoria, the duke addressed a crowd of thousands outside the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, saying: "When we were here last time, we had been married only three months.

"The warm welcome that you gave us at that important moment in our lives meant a lot to us - and we have never forgotten it.

"That is why we are so pleased that George and Charlotte can be with us in Canada this time round, beginning their own lifetime of friendship with this wonderful country."


Analysis

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt

This was a still rare chance to see the Cambridges as a family of four.

Prince William and his wife continue to shield their children from the spotlight.

They landed in a city named after William's great-great-great-great-grandmother.

Despite the honour, Queen Victoria never made it to this part of her empire.

Her descendants will be here for eight days.

They represent the future, as things stand, of the throne she once occupied - in both the UK and some 4,000 miles away in Canada - where the British crown replaced a French one.

Despite a sizeable minority of the population yearning for a Canadian-born head of state, there is, as yet, no concrete political drive to change the status quo.

That status will be bolstered - at the very least emotionally - in the coming days by the images that will be captured of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and their parents.

Read more from Peter Hunt.


Image copyright PA

The royal couple also attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the cenotaph in Victoria, as part of a service to honour the 158 Canadian service personnel who died during the War in Afghanistan.

On their eight-day visit their official engagements will include visiting pregnant women struggling with addiction and meeting First Nations communities.

Canada, a federation of former British colonies, is part of the Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth as its head of state.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The duchess wore a dress by British designer Jenny Packham, as the family arrived in the country
Image copyright Reuters
Image copyright Getty Images

Their visit has been highly anticipated in Canada.

"A match made in paparazzi heaven" was how one Canadian newspaper greeted the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would meet Mr Trudeau and his family.

Writing in The Globe and Mail, Daniel LeBlanc said the "glamorous" meeting would "add to the number of glitzy photo opps that have marked [Mr Trudeau's] first year in power".

But the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Janet Davison said the visit was "more than just photo opps" and was an attempt to "put a more modern glow" on the Royal Family, in a country where the Queen is the head of state but some people would prefer to move away from the monarchy.

The Vancouver Sun's Steven Hume said locals in Victoria, where the Duke and Duchess will arrive, were "still crazy for" the royals although the proportion of people with British roots had declined.


ITINERARY

24 Sept Victoria, British Columbia: The duke and duchess, accompanied by their children, arrived in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.

25 Sept Vancouver, British Columbia: The duke and duchess will visit Sheway, the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia - an event celebrating young leaders in Canadian arts, music, sport, charity, business, and film, and finally visit the Kitsilano coastguard station.

26 Sept Bella Bella and the Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia: The duke and duchess will travel to the Great Bear Rainforest, visit the Heiltsuk First Nations community and attend a reception hosted by the province of British Columbia at Government House.

27 Sept Kelowna, British Columbia and Whitehorse, Yukon: The royals will tour the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia and take part in the BC government's "Taste of British Columbia" festival at Mission Hill Winery before flying to Whitehorse, where they will be greeted by members of the Canadian Rangers.

28 Sept Whitehorse and Carcross, Yukon: William and Catherine will visit the MacBride Museum and meet members of Whitehorse's cultural community before travelling to Carcross, where they will be welcomed by the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

29 Sept Victoria, British Columbia: The royal couple and their children attend a children's party in the grounds of Government House, which will be attended by military families.

30 Sept Haida Gwaii, British Columbia: The duke and duchess visit Haida Gwaii, the archipelago on the northern coast of British Columbia, home to the Haida Nation. They will attend the opening of the new Haida Gwaii hospital and care centre. They will join local youths for a fishing expedition on the waters of Hecate Strait.

30 Sept Victoria, British Columbia: The royal couple will visit the Cridge Centre for the Family, which provides services and support for women who have experienced domestic violence. They will then meet families who have received support from the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre and later youth working with the Sail and Life Training Society. They end their tour with a public official departure ceremony at Victoria Harbour Airport.

Related Topics

More on this story