Day 2 of the Royal tour saw The Duke and Duchess travel from Victoria to Vancouver by floatplane. Floatplanes are the quickest way to travel between the two cities and are one of the real symbols of this part of the world.
Following a successful and warm welcome ceremony on Saturday, The Royal Couple landed at the harbour in the heart of Vancouver on Sunday where they received a civic welcome in Jack Poole Plaza located by the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.
The Plaza is named after the late Jack Poole, who was a key player behind the success of the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics held in Vancouver.
William and Catherine made a short stop for a walkabout and met with the public gathered at the Plaza from 5 AM to meet them.
The Royal mania was in full mode. Even the damp weather was not going to be a hurdle. William and Catherine were supporting big smiles and laughs when they met with the Canadians.
The welcome ceremony allowed The Duke and Duchess to get an immediate sense of Vancouver’s energy and dynamism. Vancouver is one of the most diverse cities in Canada.
From here, The Duke and Duchess travelled to the Downtown East Side of Vancouver to meet the amazing team at Sheway – a Coast Salish word for growth – a charity that has achieved remarkable things for vulnerable mothers who are battling addiction and other issues. Established in response to a growing understanding of the needs of pregnant and parenting women living in the DTES, Sheway came to life in 1993 in an area that has been identified as the poorest neighbourhood in Vancouver, if not in Canada.
Prior to Sheway’s inception in 1993, babies born to mothers with substance use issues living in the Downtown East Side had their babies removed at birth. These babies were frequently premature and underweight. Today, 88 per cent of the babies are born full-term and are of average birth weight. In addition, 74 per cent of the children born today leave the hospital in their mother’s care.
The link between addiction and family breakdown is something that has been a major priority of The Duchess’s charitable work. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge participated in a ceremonial First Nations welcome and prayer. They learnt about vest-making and baby-welcoming ceremonies before participating in storytime with mothers and children. The staff discussed nutrition, maternal and baby health. William and Catherine also see how to make traditional bannock at Sheway.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with the mothers who received support from Sheway and heard about their experience and help they received from the charities. Prince William also learned about a maternity centre opened by his late mother, Princess Diana of Wales, in Glasgow. Sheway’s working culture is based on the same maternity centre.
Before departing, William and Catherine received two teddies for Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Thanking the young girl, Catherine said, “Thank you so much, Charlotte will love this, she loves her teddies!”
For the second engagement of the day – Immigration Services Society of British Columbia, William and Catherine were joined by the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Trudeau.
The Duke and Duchess met the staff and volunteers who support over 25,000 recent migrants to Canada each year, including some of the 30,000 who have arrived in Canada over the last year from UNHCR camps that are supporting those who have fled the war in Syria.
They were received by the settlement services director Chris Friesen, who briefed them about the society’s programme for welcoming young refugees and helping them adjust to life in Canada. William and Catherine explored issues including housing, education, employment, language, and mental health and had an opportunity to engage directly with Syrian refugees.
The Royal couple spent some time with families who were helped by the society.
A video of the visit.
The Duke and Duchess then attended an event celebrating young leaders in Canadian arts, music, sport, charity, business, and film.
The Palace said that Couple was pleased to have this opportunity to meet with people of their generation who they might have the chance to get to meet again over the years.
The final engagement of the day saw The Duke and Duchess learn more about the first responders who work together to keep Vancouverites safe as they enjoy life in their city.
They visited the Kitsilano Coastguard Station in Vanier park and learn about the round the clock operation to support people who come into trouble on the water that surrounds this coastal city.
Their Royal Highnesses joined a round table with representatives from the Coast Guard, ambulance, fire, and police services to discuss rescues and mental health issues in first responders’ communities. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge moved outside to the station’s cycling path, meet Indigenous leaders, and view equipment used in search and rescue and environmental response, including a Coast Guard hovercraft.
They also met with other first responders who protect the safety and physical and mental health of people in the region, including police and fire services and social workers.
The Royal Couple departed the area by the Coast Guard’s hovercraft before flying back to Victoria for the evening.
For the day, The Duchess of Cambridge was looking absolutely stunning in a chic Alexander McQueen Print Dress paired with Russell & Bromley ‘Pinpoint’ Court Shoes. Another sartorial node with white and red. Catherine teamed up the outfit with Queen’s Diamond and Pearl Small Earrings, Miu Miu Bow-embellished Bag and Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.