Royals

Adorable Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s Canadian play date

Bubbles and balloons amuse the royal bubs on the sixth day of their Canadian tour.

It was the most anticipated engagement of the Cambridge family’s royal tour of Canada and it didn’t disappoint. Today Prince William got a taste of how his father must feel as his children George and Charlotte stole the spotlight at a captivating garden party at Government House, Victoria.

George was enchanted by bubbles, Charlotte by a fluffy bunny and simple balloons and both were incredibly cute.

“The Duke and Duchess are really pleased to have this opportunity to introduce their children to Canada and it’s great that they have the chance to play with other children while they are here,” said a Kensington Palace spokesman.

For the royal fans there were a lot of firsts on display today: it’s the first time we have seen the siblings at play and interacting with each other, the first time we have seen Charlotte walking and the first time we have seen George talking.

Prince William was very hands on with his son who started out a little tentatively and then got into his stride; while the Duchess was watching Charlotte who at almost 17 months is starting to be her own person and displaying all the inquisitiveness we saw in brother George when he was that age.

The children were dressed in much the same style we have seen them to date. Prince George in shorts – this time a rich red – a blue jumper, his trademark knee-high socks and natty blue loafers. Princess Charlotte in a mid-blue dress with smocking at the top, a darker blue cardigan with matching shoes, white ankle socks and a blue ribbon hair grip.

The Princess arrived in her mother’s arms, the Duchess looking typically elegant in a cream Chloe dress and rope-sided nude wedges from UK high street store Monsoon, while George was holding onto Daddy’s hand as the family walked down the steps from the house, ready to party.

The royal siblings joined 24 children and 24 parents from Canadian military families, many with one parent deployed, for a playdate in the stunning verdant grounds of British Columbia’s Government House where the Cambridge family has been based during their week-long tour of Canada.

The families are part of the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre, which is an independent not-for-profit organisation that provides programs and services to military members and their families. The assembled parents and children were treated to quite a celebration with a petting zoo, including a Nubian goat, two miniature horses called Honey and TC, a sheep, quails and a black and white rabbit. There was also a St John’s Ambulance therapy dog, golden retriever and poodle cross, called Moose and children’s entertainers.

Bubble-making machines including giant bubble makers delighted the military children as they were waiting for the royals to arrive and proved a hit with George later. While refreshments of fruit juice were served in paper cups decorated with crown insignia with tea and coffee for the adults.

On arrival Princess Charlotte headed straight for a colourful arch made out of balloons which she delightedly rubbed her hands along. At one point she was faced with a little girl with a yellow balloon and reached out for it but the girl put it behind her back.

“Would you like a balloon Charlotte?” William said before picking her up. Kate then carried her balloon-obsessed daughter over to see the guitar player who was also making balloons. As he started to make a pink balloon for Charlotte, George came over saying: “I want one too.”… Of course he did!

Later Charlotte was delighted by a black and white rabbit, reaching out to pet it as mum Kate held her and she snuggled her face into the bunny’s soft fur with a huge grin on her enchanted face. Then she asked to be put down and toddled off to look at the ponies. Holding Mum’s hand Charlotte briefly looked at the horses before returning to stand by her beloved balloons when Moose the dog attracted her attention and she stroked him before sitting on him and bouncing up and down.

Prince William put son George on one of the ponies but he wasn’t overly-impressed and didn’t stay on for long.

Three-year-old Brielle, the daughter of Lucas Kenward the Commanding Officer of HMCS Edmonton, a Canadian warship, met Charlotte but was oblivious to the fact that she’d played with a princess.

Her mother Andrea said: “Charlotte was chewing on her fingers so I asked [Kate] if she was teething and yes [she is]. “She [the Duchess] talked about bath time and how she [Charlotte] is always hungry.” While husband Lucas said about George: “He was definitely into the bubbles.”

“It was much more intimate than I anticipated,” Lucas shared. “It wasn’t about the Duke and Duchess coming down the stairs. It was nice to see they have kids that are like all our kids, down-to-earth, interacting. It didn’t feel scripted at all.” Andrea added: “I think they’re really enjoying their time here. They said it was fabulous.”

As the media left, the children continued to enjoy themselves. The Royal family plan to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening privately together, on what is a beautiful sunny day in Victoria.

Tomorrow the Duke and Duchess will visit the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii, off the northwest coast of British Columbia.

Words: Juliet Rieden in Canada

Little Charlotte toddled around adorably

George and his dad have a super cute cuddle

Ready, set, go!

Little George marvels at the magical bubbles

It looks like there’s a musician in the family!

Balloon animal fun!

Could this family be any more beautiful?

It looks like Prince George found Nemo!

Princess Charlotte looking cute as a button in her little pinafore and knitted cardigan

Hugging her balloon animals tight, Charlotte cuddles up with Dad.

Look who’s found a furry friend!

Look mum!

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Princess Charlotte sits on a dog

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Prince George and Princess Charlotte make their grand entrance

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