That evening in Victoria, The Duke and Duchess attended a reception and ‘Black Rod Ceremony’ hosted by the province of British Columbia at Government House in Victoria.
The Government House was the Cambridge family’s base for the tour where Prince George and Princess Charlotte were staying while William and Catherine were travelling around the British Columbia and Yukon. Located in a residential area, the house has very family-oriented vibes making sure children will be feeling safe and happy.
The Black Rod is a ceremonial staff used on formal occasions when the monarch or her provincial representative, the Lieutenant Governor, is present in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The materials and symbols affixed to the Rod are representative of the province and its relationship to the Crown.
The event was the most formal engagement of the 9 days long tour. Black Rod is best known for his part in the ceremonies surrounding the State Opening of Parliament and the Throne speech. He summons the Commons to attend the speech and leads them to the Lords. As part of the ritual, as Black Rod approaches the doors to the chamber of the House of Commons to make his summons, they are slammed in his face. This is to symbolize the Commons’ independence of the Sovereign. Black Rod then strikes the door three times with his staff and is then admitted and issues the summons of the monarch to attend.
This ritual is derived from the attempt by King Charles I to arrest the Five Members in 1642, in what was seen as a breach of the constitution. This and prior actions of the King led to the Civil War. After that incident, the House of Commons has maintained its right to question the right of the monarch’s representative to enter their chamber, although they cannot bar him from entering with lawful authority. In BC, the event was first commemorated to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The BC Black Rod is adorned with three rings, representing the province, Canada and the link to the UK. During the ceremony, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge installed the fourth Ring of Reconciliation to embody the historic relationship of the Sovereign as the guardian and protector of the Aboriginal peoples and to symbolize the reconciliation of all cultures in British Columbia. The ring was engraved with eagle feathers and a canoe to symbolise First Nations in the Province.
Among the attendees were the leaders from British Columbia’s legislature, government and judiciary. The reception gave the royal couple a chance to thank all of them for the warm welcome.
For the evening, we were expecting a glamorous and elegant look and The Duchess did not disappoint us.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore stylish red Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Finella Satin Midi Dress paired with Soru Baroque Pearl Double Sided Earrings, Gianvito Rossi’s ‘Gianvito 105’ Red pumps and Jenny Packham Casa Clutch. Catherine topped the outfit with Maple Leaf Brooch.