The final day of #RoyalVisitCanada was another busy one for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they undertook more walkabouts, visited charities and took a sail around Victoria’s harbour, before collecting the family, and waving goodbye to Canada.
Beginning with a visit to the Cridge Centre for the Family — a non-profit society that offers a number of social services such as child care, supportive housing and support for victims of domestic violence – William and Kate spoke to those who had been helped by the centre.
Here, the Duchess revealed that Prince George loves pizza and pasta when discussing cooking with a young Downs Syndrome visitor to the centre. William, meanwhile, joked about the lack of fish the couple caught yesterday: “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.”
Crowds gathered outside, including a number of children, giving William and Kate a warm reception on their last day. More gifts followed, included ice-hockey jerseys for their children.
During the morning, a donation to mark the Royal tour was announced by the government: £60,000 will be split between the Prince’s Charities Canada (one of Prince Charles’ initiatives) and the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia, which the couple visited earlier in the week.
Mr Trudeau said: “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.
“Canadians have a real affection for the Royal family which was once again very much on display during this tour.”
On stage, William and Catherine unveiled a sculpture honouring those who’ve overcome difficulty in their lives. A speech also praised their charity work and commitment to change.
It was then onto BC Children’s Hospital to talk to mental health workers and sufferers. Sitting down to talk over coffee, the Royals listened to personal stories of hardship and success in people’s lives affected by mental heath issues, and how local Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre helped.
Back at the harbour, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge boarded Pacific Grace, a replica of the famous Canadian Bluenose boat, just after noon. They joined a team from the Sail and Life Training Society, which trains young people how to sail a tall ship and work as a team.
Chatting with the crew, William and Kate revealed the competition going on between Prince Harry and James Middleton: their beards!
“The Duke said my beard was the most magnificent specimen he’d ever seen,” explains Steve Atkinson. “The Duchess was saying that both their brothers are competing on the beard-growing front. They asked how long I’ve been growing it 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.”
Kate took the helm to bring the boat back into port, and the couple were seen getting stuck in with the sails and other physical aspects of manning the boat.
A tweet by Kensington Palace thanked Canada for its hospitality: “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.”
The Duke and Duchess then returned to Government House to pick up their children and quickly change into more formal wear before their official send off.
Prince George enthusiastically waved to the crowds and press, before shaking the Governor General’s hand – you may remember Justin Trudeau couldn’t get a high-five out of the toddler!
Princess Charlotte also practised her waving and seemed to like smelling a bouquet of flowers given to her mother, Catherine.
The Cambridges had a private plane tour of Vancouver Island before boarding a Canadian RAF plane to bring them back to the UK.