The Duke and Duchess' last royal family visit

With a smile and a wave, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today bade farewell to Canada alongside their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The family, who have just undertaken a successful eight-day tour of the country, arrived at Victoria Harbour Airport and took a float plane out of the city at 4pm local time.

They were driven to the airport in a convoy, with the children strapped into the back seat of the limousine in their car seats.

But the Cambridge's trip will be the youngsters' last overseas tour for some time. Sources close to the family say their decision to bring their children was a 'one-off' and that the Prince and Princess are unlikely to accompany their parents on another official overseas tour for several years so they can enjoy a 'normal childhood'.

George, three, dressed in his familiar shorts and long socks, couldn't stop smiling and waving at the cheering well-wishers as he got out of the car, holding his father's hand.

Charlotte, 16 months, wearing a pretty patterned dress, was carried by her mother wearing cream Catherine Walker, and even managed a wave for the cameras too.

Princess Charlotte waves prior to getting on a float plane as Britain's Royal family prepares to depart Victoria, British Columbia. Photo / AP
Princess Charlotte waves prior to getting on a float plane as Britain's Royal family prepares to depart Victoria, British Columbia. Photo / AP


After greeting dignitaries and walking past a guard of honour, Charlotte insisted on being put down and toddled to the plane herself.

There was just time for quick photograph and before the family embarked on their float plane and set off for a scenic tour of the coast and then on to meet their Royal Canadian Airforce flight back to London.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte waved goodbye to Canada as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour ended with the couple praising the nation for the 'happy memories' created during their stay.

Thousands lined the harbour of Victoria, capital of British Columbia, to see William and Kate and their children leave by boat plane after an eight-day visit.

The royal tour of eastern Canada had taken the couple from the stunning scenery of the Hadai Gwaii archipelago to the Yukon gold rush town of Whitehorse.

But all eyes were on George and Charlotte who stole the limelight from their parents when an outdoor children's party was staged in their honour in Victoria last week.

And when it came to the official departure the three-year-old future king and his 17-month-old sister melted the hearts of well-wishers lining crash barriers around the harbour.

When George, dressed in his trademark, shorts, jumper, shirt and knee length shorts, stepped form a people carrier he began waving with one hand and then frantically with both to the amusement of William who smiled as Kate held Charlotte, who wore a dress and cardigan.

And later Charlotte gave a wave for the crowds as she stood on a jetty with her parents and turned to wave at British Columbia premier Christy Clark.

After ignoring the attempts of Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau to high five him when the prince first arrived, George once again left a well-wisher hanging when the Cambridges first arrived.

William and Kate with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte get on a float plane as they prepare to depart Victoria, British Columbia. Photo / AP
William and Kate with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte get on a float plane as they prepare to depart Victoria, British Columbia. Photo / AP


When posey boy Daniel Brachman, aged nine, representing the organisation Power to Be bent down and held his palm up to the prince, he was ignored by the three-year-old.

The school boy said afterwards: 'It was really excited to meet them, I wish that I asked them something but it was still really exciting.'

But he did not appear disappointed that the George didn't respond to his greeting: 'I tried to high five him but he didn't want to.'

The little prince did, however, shake the hand of Governor General David Johnston after William prompted him.

The Duke and Duchess made their way along a paved walkway to their sea plane and past a guard of honour from the Royal Canadian Navy.

Waiting a few paces ahead were the Governor-General of Canada David Johnston and his wife Sharon and the Christy Clark premier of British Columbia who had attended many of their engagements.

Kate put her daughter down and she looked over her shoulder at the crowds and began waving, then turned to the premier and gave a wave which was returned by Ms Clark who bent down to the same eye level as the 17-month-old Princess.

After the goodbyes were said the Duke led his son by the hand and Kate took Charlotte's hand and they walked towards the bobbing plane moored nearby.

The foursome stopped to acknowledge the crowds and all waved but as soon as William let go of George's hand he made a dash for the aircraft and got to the first step before the Duke placed his hands on his arms and turned him back.

With the Duchess carrying her daughter and the Duke keeping a firm grip on his son they posed for the crowds and photographers waving one last time.

An impatient George looked at the plane, shuffled his feet and pulled on his father's hand before they all boarded the plane.

Wrapping up the royal visit, HRH The Duke of Cambridge said: '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.

Prince William and Kate steer a tall ship. Photo / AP
Prince William and Kate steer a tall ship. Photo / AP


The Duchess of Cambridge looked chic courtesy of the British High Street - sporting a Zara jacket and jeans and a funky pair of £278 tartan heeled loafers by J Crew on her last day of engagements in Canada.

At the start of the day, Kate turned up to the Cridge Centre for the Family - one of Victoria's most well-known charitable institutions - in the cream jacket and top, jeans and loafers with her hair pulled back in a sensible pony tail for the busy day ahead.

The Centre provides a range of services, including childcare, youth outreach, and support for women who have experienced domestic violence.

The Duke and Duchess met residents and beneficiaries of the Cridge Centre on the morning of the final day of their eight-day long tour of British Columbia.

Among the people they met was 20-year-old Zola Auld who has Downs Syndrome.

The centre in Victoria is the province's oldest not-for-profit society. The pair arrived just after 10am local time and were greeted and escorted by the Premier of BC Christy Clark, lieutenant Governor of BC Judith Guichon, Cridge Centre's CEO Shelley Morris and President Val Fuller.

William joked about the fishing yesterday and the pre-caught fish Kate picked up.

He told Mrs Clark when she greeted him at the Cridge centre: 'We didn't catch anything! It's typical whenever we go anywhere All the best laid plans go to pot.

'That salmon (pre caught) was the biggest fish I've seen! It was a great day.'

Once inside the centre they walked through to an outside area where they met with a number of people young and old who have benefited from the centre's many schemes which include women's and family services, senior services, brain injury services and the young parent outreach programme.

William took one line while Kate, in her cream Zara jacket and skinny black Zara jeans, worked the other line.

Britain's Prince William and Kate visit the Cridge Centre for the family to meet people. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince William and Kate visit the Cridge Centre for the family to meet people. Photo / AP


Kate chatted with 20-year-old Zara Auld from Victoria and her mother Anne Auld.

'Kate asked me what I like to do and I told her cooking' said Zara. 'She asked me what and I said Italian like pizza and pasta and she said George loves that.'

Mrs Auld said the centre has provided invaluable support to them as a family adding: 'It's been a dream come true meeting the Duchess.'

Afterwards they went outside where a band was playing to unveil the Overcomer's Monument dedicated to people who have overcome difficult circumstances.

Some 300 clients, residents and beneficiaries of the programme had gathered to greet the couple and watch the unveiling.

From the centre, the Duke and Duchess visited a local café where met with families that have been supported by the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, one of British Columbia's leading mental health charities.

Kelty uses digital and community-based tools to take mental health services and information to families throughout the province.

This focus on signposting and information provision chimes closely with the work that The Duke and Duchess are focusing on along with Prince Harry through their Heads Together campaign.

And in the afternoon, the couple changed into more casual gear before they set sail for a trip around Victoria's picturesque harbour.

Kate put on a £350 (NZ$623) wax parka jacket by British brand Troy London, with white plimsoles while William sported a matching jacket.

The couple then boarded 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.

On board were a group of young people who are part of a national network of youth working to end stigma around mental health for their generation.

The Duke and Duchess had the chance to talk to the youngsters about their work while actively taking part in helping to sail the tall ship before docking in the inner harbour.

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, sail aboard the Pacific Grace tall ship with members of the Sail and Life Training society. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, sail aboard the Pacific Grace tall ship with members of the Sail and Life Training society. Photo / AP


As tall ship Pacific Grace hove into view, Wills and Kate were heaving on the halyards.

The Pacific Grave was flying Wills' Canadian royal standard, besides the Canadian and BC flags.

Then Kate helped hoist the sail with some gusto, while William continued to heave the halyards with young people from Jacks charity.

They all chanted to keep time pulling together and a massive cheer went up when the sails were fully hoisted.

Then the Duke and Duchess went to the stern to hear more about the charity's work.

Prince William laughed his head off when he met a sailor with a magnificent 'full set' beard.

'That is the most amazing specimen I have ever seen' William told bosun Steve Atkinson.

'Seriously that is incredible, it must have taken you ages but you must be very proud.

'I'm very jealous.'

Moments earlier Kate had met Steve and said: 'Wow! Whiskers!'

Speaking afterwards, Bosun Steve Atkinson, 25, said: 'Kate told me I was competing with her brother. [James Middleton]

'I told William it took me nine months to grow.'

William grew a full set when he was in the Royal Navy, as did his father Charles, grandfather Philip and Uncle Prince Andrew.

Prince Harry currently sports a closely shaved beard although it's known the Queen is not keen on them and discourages servants from having them.

Kate and William wore wax jackets to fend off a cold wind and a few drops of rain.

They were greeted by Executive Director of SALTS Mr Loren Hagerty, founder Eric Windeler and Aboriginal Project manager Josh Hellyer.

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate visit the Cridge Centre for the family. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate visit the Cridge Centre for the family. Photo / AP


The couple were shown the ropes by crew members of the ship, a wooden-hulled gaff-rigged schooner.

The ship is used for five and ten day voyages for up to forty youngsters get 13 to 25.

William and Kate watched as the sails were raised for the short journey from Ogden Point and helped steer the ship back into Victoria harbour.

Tony Anderson, 52, from Victoria. captain of the Pacific Grace, said: 'The Duchess of Cambridge said early on her gap year she enjoyed sailing on a UK boat. We talked about the similarities between that programme and the Salts programme.

'We asked her to take the wheel as we came into harbour. She told William to take it but he said 'ladies first'

'We said she could hand over to William but she didn't want to hand it over. She was bossing it!

'They were right in there hoisting everything, hauling the sails. We'd heard they were both good sailors. They were both awesome.

They loved Steve's beard. Maybe Will will grow one too.'

Bearded Steve Atkinson, 25, from Victoria, said: 'The Duke said my beard was the most magnificent specimen he'd ever seen.

'The duchess was saying that both their brothers are competing on the beard-growing front. They asked how long I've been growing it (nine months) and they loved it.

'The duchess was hauling on the halyard on the fore sail, really giving it some. She stuck it out the whole time. She was tough!

'They had a lot of fun and interacted with everyone.'

Eric Windeler, founder and exec director of Jacks-who founded the charity after the suicide of his son Jack at university, added: 'They asked a lot about Jacks and seemed genuinely really interested.

Prince George waves to the crowd as Britain's Royal family prepares to depart Victoria, British Columbia. Photo / AP
Prince George waves to the crowd as Britain's Royal family prepares to depart Victoria, British Columbia. Photo / AP


'I'd say they were quite well informed on mental health and lived the youth-focus approach that Jacks adopts.

'We lost Jack seven years ago. He represents the part of the population we can't reach.

'We found out later he'd disengaged at university, stopped going to classes. Initially we wanted to get involved and just help, with a youth focus a d peer-on-peer mentoring.

'This has been a great way to show the work we do.'

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 11 Dec 2016 04:17:12 Processing Time: 410ms