British royal kids make rare appearance in Canada

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) " Princess Charlotte took her first steps in public on Thursday as she and brother Prince George played in a children's party with Prince William and Kate.

The 1-year-old Charlotte immediately bee-lined for some colorful balloons before heading to the petting zoo for some time with the goats, sheep, rabbits and miniature horses.

George sat on his father's knee before warming up to the party at a bubble-blowing station. He used a squirt gun while William picked up a wand to make huge bubbles.

The royals arrived in Canada last Saturday. George left Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hanging on a high-five attempt at the airport.

The kids are staying behind at Victoria's Government House, the location for the party with military families, while their parents tour British Columbia and the Yukon.

Children's entertainer Paul Kilshaw, 53, made several balloons for the prince and princess. A flower and teddy bear for Charlotte and a spider, monkey on a tree and volcano for George.

He said George asked for a spider, which he'd never had to make before, but he used a penguin body and added eight legs.

"The volcano was an interesting trip, too. (Prince George) asked for a volcano. He was very proud to tell me all about volcanos. I started making it, I said 'I'll put orange and red fire from it,' and he said 'And that's lava.'"

Submariner Andrew Matheson said his daughters, Lily and Isabelle, and his wife Kristy met the royal couple and their children. Isabelle and Prince George chased bubbles together, said Kristy.

Andrew said William and Kate talked about keeping a busy schedule with their responsibilities and juggling children.

"We both kind of acknowledged the fact that regardless of where you are looking, one eye is always kind of focused on your children," he said. "So to see that side of the Royal Family was great. It was absolutely amazing."

Asked if they mentioned whether George and Charlotte were enjoying themselves, Andrew said: "They did. They said they were having a great time, absolutely. They enjoy where they are staying here. They love Victoria. The weather's fantastic."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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