Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Royal Visit Canada, day three: bring out the brollies

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Bella Bella on day three of their tour of Canada
(photo Kensington Royal Twitter)

The clue was in the itinerary. Day three of Royal Visit Canada saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heading to a rain forest. Umbrellas were all but inevitable.

After the excitement of day two's floating aircraft, the latest visits began in a far more traditional way as William and Kate headed by regular plane to Bella Bella, home to the Heiltsuk community and part of the Great Bear Rainforest.

The wet weather was there to welcome the royal visitors who just made it out of the plane door with clear umbrellas up and ready. They were welcomed to the area by the Heiltsuk community and there were more welcomes waiting for them just down the road.

William and Kate took pride of place at a huge ceremony in the community hall. There was music and speeches and a very impressive turnout from the local children.

The Great Bear Rainforest has just been named as part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. an idea which started at the meeting of Commonwealth leaders in November 2015 and which allows countries from the organisation to nominate forests which will form part of an ongoing project to protect woodland around the world.

The Duke of Cambridge made a speech praising the initiative and telling those present that the Commonwealth Canopy would create 'a global network of forests that will benefit indigenous communities, wildlife and tourism, now and into the future.'

The royal couple enjoyed a boardway walk through the trees to enjoy their visit to this part of Canada and spent time fulfilling their big wish for this tour - to meet as many people as possible. And there was a plaque to unveil - it's a royal tour, there has to be a plaque.

Day three ended with a reception at Government House in Victoria given by the province of British Columbia. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also invited to take part in a Black Rod ceremony. Prince William placed a new ring on the ceremonial staff as a gesture of reconciliation with members of the indigenous populations of Canada.

Stewart Philip, who is the grand chief of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs didn't attend after a recent meeting decided they didn't feel the local and provincial governments were doing enough to tackle issues affecting their communities.

This was the first evening reception of William and Kate's visit to Canada and came as they prepared to move on to Yukon on day four.

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