Royals say goodbye to Canada as tour comes to an end

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte waved goodbye to the crowds as they left Canada.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with George and Charlotte

Thousands lined up along Victoria’s harbour, the capital of British Columbia, to see William and Kate and their children leave, after their eight-day royal visit.

William released a statement before the family were due to depart, praising the nation for the “happy memories” created during their stay.

”Catherine and I are incredibly grateful to the people of Canada for the warmth and hospitality they have extended to our family over the last week.

”We have loved our time in British Columbia and Yukon and will never forget the beautiful places we have seen and the many people who have been kind enough to come to welcome us in person.

The popular Prince says goodbye to the people of Canada.

”We feel very lucky to have been able to introduce George and Charlotte to Canada. This country will play a big part in the lives of our children and we have created such happy memories for our family during this visit.

”Canada is a country of optimism, generosity and unrivalled natural beauty. I hope we have helped all Canadians celebrate what makes this country great. We will see you again soon.”

The family shook hands with a line-up of dignitaries including the Premier of British Columbia and the Governor General and his wife before boarding their seaplane with their aides.

They will disembark at Victoria international airport to board the Royal Canadian Airforce plane home.

The Duke and Duchess attend charitable institution, the Cridge Centre

At the start of the day, the Duke and the Duchess met residents of the Cridge Centre for the Family – one of Victoria’s most well-known charitable institutions.

The Centre provides care services for children, youth and support for women who have experienced domestic violence.

In the afternoon, the couple set sail for a trip around Victoria’s picturesque harbour on a tall-ship operated by the Sail and Life Training Society, a charity that uses the power of sailing to give young people skills and direction in their lives.

Kate takes the wheel of the tall ship, Pacific Grace.

CBC news reports in honour of the royal visit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s official gift of a $100,000 to be divided equally between two nonprofit groups: Prince’s Charities Canada and the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia.

“In keeping with tradition, I am honoured to mark the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with a gift that will help both Indigenous youth as well as newcomers to Canada realise their dreams,” Trudeau said in a statement. “Canadians have a real affection for the Royal Family, which was once again very much on display during this tour.”

Prince William paddles a traditional canoe alongside 10 warrior paddlers.

The Royal couple’s second to last official engagement on their eight-day tour of Canada was marked with a visit to Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, in British Columbia.

Arriving in traditional fashion on a 25 foot canoe, the royal couple paddled along with 10 rowers to the beat of a pacer’s drum.

Not long after their arrival on shore, the Duke and Duchess were given a First Nations welcome and were officially welcomed to the Haida Heritage Centre and Museum.

The Duke and Duchess were addressed by the President of Haida Nation and watched a cultural performance from around 30 local children

The scarves hold special significance and are only worn by matriarchs, Chiefs and their wives of persons of great standing in the community.

In honour of their visit, the Royal couple were gifted with traditional scarves, trimmed with sea otter fur.

William also gave a short speech acknowledging the people of the First Nations community. He said: “Women of High Esteem, Chiefs, Friends, Aan t’alang isis ska-wada-gee id ga dalang kil laa, haaw – thank you very much for having us here.”

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