At the tender age of 16 months, a smiling Princess Charlotte appears to have wrapped dignitaries and the watching world alike around her little fingers within moments of touching down on her first overseas tour.

The Princess and her brother Prince George charmed a line of Canadian politicians with a shy wave, as they landed in Victoria, British Columbia, for the first moments of their much-anticipated visit.

Princess Charlotte, who wore a pale blue dress, was carried down the steps by her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, holding onto her for reassurance.

Prince George, three, held the Duke's hand as he carefully climbed down to the tarmac, looking a little wary and clutching his mother's skirt before becoming absorbed with his new admirers and the military base around him.


After a few moments greeting dignitaries including Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie, the young Prince warmed up to wave enthusiastically at the cameras.

Princess Charlotte too, with the encouragement of her mother, attempted to wave her hand before gazing around her at her new surroundings.

The Duchess kept a close eye on three-year-old George, at one point asking him whether he was "okay" as she crouched down to stroke his hair.

Gov. General David Johnston, Sharon Johnston, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and Lt.-Gov. of British Columbia Judith Guichon. Photo / AP
Gov. General David Johnston, Sharon Johnston, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and Lt.-Gov. of British Columbia Judith Guichon. Photo / AP

Both children were greeted by Mr Trudeau, who knelt down and offered his hand to an unsure Prince George to high five. The Duchess wore a blue Jenny Packham dress and the Queen's maple leaf brooch in honour of her surroundings. Her wardrobe will be closely studied by fans of fashion during the tour.

During her 2011 visit, she was widely praised for her fashion diplomacy after wearing a bespoke red maple leaf hat by Sylvia Fletcher of Lock & co. during the Canada Day celebrations, often pinned the 11-point maple leaf brooch, first worn by the Queen's mother during her tour of Canada in 1939.

After a few moments to pose for photographs, the family got into waiting cars to travel in convoy to British Columbia's Government House, where they will be based during the nine-day stay.

20 Sep, 2016 6:17pm
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While the military air base was closed to the public for the arrival, the main roads were lined with hundreds of flag-waving well-wishers as the cars travelled in convoy to their new temporary home.

After seeing the children settled in, the Duke and Duchess then travelled to an official welcoming ceremony at the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, where they are due to attend the unveiling of a plaque at the Cenotaph, enjoy a welcome performance from traditional dancers, and meet military veterans including a competitor from the Invictus Games.

The Duke is also expected to make a speech, addressing Canadians in person for the first time since he and the Duchess undertook their 2011 tour as newlyweds. The couple will be greeted by Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister, and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. The nation has already promised a warm welcome for the young family of four, with local newspapers proclaiming Victoria "buzzing with excitement" over their visit.

Etiquette experts have been offering members of the public guidelines about how to behave among royalty, including the safe advice to to tell "hey Kate" to the Duchess or make any jokes "ever".

The staff of British Columbia's Government House have also been busy child-proofing their mansion for the arrival of Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Electrical sockets have been covered, ornaments and trinkets moved out of reach and wooden toys and snacks placed in the children's guest rooms. It is rumoured a sandbox has also been installed for the children's entertainment, with rubber ducks already floating in the ponds of the house.

Thandi Williams, director of operations, told the local Times Colonist newspaper: "Trust me, we're just trying to think what might they like to do while they're here and what would be amusing to children of that age.

"Some of the trinkets, and so on, that we might have around on display on a regular basis might be removed just in case little hands want to touch."

The tour is the latest in a long line of successful visits from the British Royal family, and the four official trip for the Duke.

In 1998, the then 15-year-old Prince William was said to have been surprised by the extent of so-called "Wills mania", as teenage girls flocked to catch the eye of the Queen's grandson.

The Duke and Duchess last visited together in 2011 as newlyweds, with the Duke telling a crowd the trip had surpassed "all that we were promised".

Among the highlights of this tour will be a trip around the territory of Yukon, where the Duke and Duchess will go fishing, mountain biking, sightseeing and meet First Nations communities.

But they will also undertake some grittier outings, learning how the country is coping with social problems like mental health issues, the refugee fallout from the Syrian conflict and drug and alcohol addiction among young mothers.