It was a busy fourth day of #RoyalVisitCanada for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they visited the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, before flying to Whitehorse in Yukon where they spent a night away from their children.
Both William and Catherine have put education and young people at the heart of their duties since, so after a busy few days in Victoria and Vancouver, they visited the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia.
During their time on campus they visited some lectures and met researchers working on crucial environmental research.
The Royal couple unveiled a plaque to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the campus which has helped to bring together Canadians with the Okanagan Nation Alliance First Nations since its foundation. The Duchess met the artists who designed a piece of Indigenous Syilx art commissioned to honour this relationship.
After lunch the Royals met the campus’ volleyball mascot “Scorch” and watched an exhibition match with the nationally ranked women’s volleyball team, with approximately 1,500 students. The pair clearly enjoyed themselves, and were presented with team jerseys emblazoned with ‘Cambridge’ on the back.
The Royal guests were a hit with the students, who clamoured to shake their hands and speak to them as they left the building.
On campus, the couple were addressed by Chief John Kruger of the Penticton Indian Band. He urged them to advocate for reconciliation for Aboriginal Peoples.
He said: “True reconciliation involves the honour of the Crown, the federal government, provincial government and the indigenous people of this land.”
Kruger was standing in for Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, who has boycotted royal events.
It was then onto Mission Hill Winery in the centre of the scenic Okanagan Valley for The Duke and Duchess. William and Kate saw the ‘Chefs in the Classroom’ programme which educates youngsters on nutrition and cooking skills.
Following this, they headed to the “Taste of British Columbia” festival to sample some of Canada’s finest wines, cheeses, fresh vegetables, which are produced in the area.
The Royal couple met local students considering careers in the food and agriculture industry whilst sampling some local foods and wines, including freshly caught seafood from the Okanagan Bay: geoduck, also known as phallic clam. It was described as by William as “presentationally…quite challenging,” while Kate said the sashimi of the clam was “really unusual” with a “firm texture”.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) September 27, 2016
The Duke also praised the ravioli from chef Rob Fennie: “Oh my goodness this is unreal.”
After a short flight from Kelowna airport, they arrived in Yukon at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse airport where they were met by a guard of honour comprising members of the Canadian Rangers and Junior Rangers. William and Prince Harry were made honorary members of this military reserve unit on their visit in 2009.
A tad colder than in Kelowna (just 6c!), the pair wrapped up and completed their hectic day in downtown Whitehorse at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. Here, William and Kate watched the “Land of Gold – A Yukon Cultural Celebration”.
The couple was treated to a varied performance by drummers, dancers, and musicians who were showcasing the diversity of Yukon’s cultural scene.
The Duke told performers: That was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen you should be very proud. pic.twitter.com/yCY2ZwjPoL
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 28, 2016
The Duke joked with some of the performers about his dancing skills, but praised their work. The Duchess of Cambridge said her husband “has some moves”.
Afterwards they went outside to meet performers against the backdrop of a roaring fire and the Yukon river.
Staying in the area at a local hotel for the evening, this is the only night William and Kate are spending apart from Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who are based at Government House in Victoria.