Thursday, 29 September 2016

Bubbles & Balloons: George & Charlotte Steal the Show at Children's Party

Day six of the Cambridges' royal tour of Canada brought the most eagerly anticipated engagement, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte stealing the show at a Government House children's party.

Kensington Palace released a statement to say: "The Duke and Duchess really happy this has been put on for them and think it’s a great opportunity to play with other children."

Charlotte takes a look around..

A very excited Princess Charlotte made a beeline for the balloons and hugged them while saying "pop".

George and Charlotte playing with the balloons. :)

George, Charlotte and twenty-four other children were treated to a petting zoo with miniature ponies, balloon animals and a puppet show.

A gorgeous mother-daughter shot.

Prince George was initially feeling a little shy according to Rebecca English, however, he soon perked up when he spotted a water gun and started squirting Princess Charlotte with it.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

George looked fascinated with his fish-shaped bubble gun.

Charlotte was particularly fond of a black and white rabbit she met.

So much so she hugged him before moving on. Undoubtedly one of the best photos of the day :)

George had a ball blowing bubbles.

If one had to surmise the highlights of the day for George and Charlotte, I think 'Bubbles and Balloons' would be an entirely apt description.

The family having a blast making balloon creations and shapes.

It's lovely to see informal, relaxed photos like these - offering a glimpse into the Cambridges' family life. The children's party and accompanying activities were an excellent way of achieving the perfect setting for the appearance.

Kate helps Charlotte remove her cardigan.

A darling photo.

How sweet is this? :)

At one point Charlotte saw another little girl with a yellow balloon and reached out for it but the girl put it behind her back. "Would you like a balloon Charlotte?" William said before picking her up. Charlotte was heard calling William "Dada" several times as he held her.

Prince George on a miniature pony. When asked if Charlotte had a miniature pony at home, George responded "not yet".

Kate carried Charlotte over to see the guitar player who was also making balloons. George came over and said: "I want one too."

More from the Telegraph:

'Children's entertainer Paul Kilshaw, 53, from Victoria, made Prince George and Princess Charlotte balloon animals. He said: "It was totally over the top. I made a teddy bear and a flower for Charlotte and made George a tree and a volcano. When I made him the spider he started to laugh and pushed it in my face then pushed it in dad's face.
"William said 'We try making balloons at home but it doesn't work'. "At first George wasn't interested in getting one until Charlotte was getting one, then he was right over. He wanted what she had. George especially asked for a volcano and he was very proud to tell me all about volcanos. When I started with the orange flames he was pleased to tell me 'And that's lava'. Charlotte asked for a flower, I think she said 'flower' because the other little girls were asking for flowers."

Charlotte meets Moose the dog.

The tea party at Government House was held with children from the Victoria area and their families. Among those attending the event were children and families from the Military Family Resource Centre, an independent non-profit organization that provides programs and services to military members. The Duke and Duchess met with families, including those currently serving in the Canadian military.

I thought it a lovely touch to include military families on this special day; no doubt it's a very special moment the children present will look back on in years to come. Background on the Military Family Resource Centre: In 1991, the Department of National Defence officially recognized the important contributions military families make to the Canadian Forces. It established the Military Family Support Program, and authorized the creation of Military Family Resource Centres at each Canadian Forces installation. Today, the Esquimalt MFRC is one of forty-three MFRCs located in Canada and abroad. Like all MFRCs, we are a community-based organization with the sole responsibility of addressing the needs of the military family.

The Mirror's Victoria Murphy spoke with a family who met the royals. More from their blog:

'One of the guests, a little girl called Brielle, three, from Victoria, was delighted to meet Charlotte. Her mum Andrea, a charity volunteer, said: “Charlotte was chewing on her fingers so I asked if she was teething and yes, it’s very normal. She talked about bath time and how she [Charlotte] is always hungry.
Dad Lucas Kenward, CO of HMCS Edmonton, a Canadian warship, said about George: “He was definitely into the bubbles. It was much more intimate than I anticipated. It wasn’t about the Duke and Duchess coming down the stairs. It was nice to see they have kids that arise all our kids, down to earth, interacting. It didn’t feel scripted at all.” Andrea added: “I think they’re really enjoying their time here. They said it was fabulous.”

Cups and plates for the little partygoers.

Global News shared a memorable video of Kate dancing with Charlotte. :)

There's a great video with highlights from the day available at YouTube.

And a video of George and Charlotte playing with the balloons.

Today's party is George and Charlotte's only scheduled engagement (when the itinerary was announced it was suggested another might be on the cards, however, there's been no further word since). While their parents have been busily carrying out engagements, the Cambridge children have been experiencing adventures of their own with Nanny Maria. Global News reported: "On Tuesday, the children went to Beacon Hill Children’s Farm and they had fun petting some goats. The farm originally posted about the visit on their Facebook page but then removed it. Staff were also told they could not take any pictures."

The children also visited Willow’s Beach, which is a popular spot for families in Victoria. The beach is one of Victoria's most popular swimming areas. Its shallow, protected water is suitable for young children, while views of Discovery Island and Mount Baker make basking, swimming or paddling there just that much more beautiful.

The Duchess debuted another brand today choosing the elegant SEE BY CHLOÉ Pointelle-knit cotton-blend dress (with many thanks to Kate's Closet for the ID).  The French fashion house was founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion. See is a younger line of the Chloé luxury brand. This line has manufactured ready-to-wear, handbags, and accessories since 2001, and the line of apparel is intended to target the younger generation and is more affordable.

The $460 dress is from the brand Fall 2016 collection which was described as "careful, youthful and poetic". The pointelle-knit cotton-blend dress is underpinned with a tonal slip and has a flattering fit-and-flare silhouette and is finished with a ruffled collar and cuffs. The dress is available at Net-A-Porter.


A closer look at the fabric.


The ruffle neck dress is also available in navy at Nordstrom and black at Matches.


Kate added her own belt to the cream dress. It's the $180 Acne Studios Leather Waist Belt (with many thanks to Perth Fashion). It is described: "Finished with a simple burnished gold buckle, Acne Studios' belt is crafted from the smoothest cream leather with a tan underside."


The Duchess teamed the dress with her Monsoon Fleur wedges.


Kate accessorised with her £2,200 Kiki McDonough Lauren Leaf earrings.

Kiki McDonough

A closer look at Kate's hairstyle today.

Moving onto what the little Prince and Princess wore. Charlotte's lovely blue and coral dress is the Pepa & Co Classic Handsmocked Dress. UFO Mary Jane Shoes and her blue Amaia Kids bow.

It turns out the blue cardigan Charlotte wore is the same one from Amaia George wore to St Mary's hospital the day she was born. It's a very nice touch and the little Amaia cardigan has quite the sartorial significance. Amaia Arrieta, co-owner of the children's brand told People: "I'm so happy that she chose our cardigan, first for Prince George and now for Princess Charlotte – it's so lovely and exciting to see our pieces enjoyed and worn in different ways." It's interesting to note George's cardigan had five buttons whereas Charlotte's has four - it may have been altered to fit Charlotte.

Prince George was also in blue, wearing the Wild & Gorgeous Harry Jumper in larkspur blue. The 100% merino wool jumper is available for 2-13 years. George also wore a checked Neck and Neck shirt, shorts and his signature shorts and knee socks (with thanks to What Kate's Kids Wore).

As expected, it's been an absolute tour highlight. Wonderful to see the family of four together and to see more of George and Charlotte's playful personalities. No doubt a photo or two will be making it into the family album. :)

Tomorrow's Schedule:
  • 11:50 am - Travel by Canoe from Skidegate to the Haida Heritage Centre and Museum.
  • 12:15 pm - Official welcoming, with greeting from the President of the Haida Nation and cultural performances.
  • 2:00 pm - Open Haida Gwaii General Hospital.
  • 2:40 pm - Boat trip and fishing at Skidegate Youth Centre.

What was your favourite moment from the party?

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Kate in Sentaler for Carcross & Montana Mountain Visit

It was a change of clothes for the Duchess before she and William travelled to Carcross for the second leg of the day.

The Duke and Duchess received an elder blessing, and experienced a display of song and a welcome dance by the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers.

The royals clearly enjoyed the ceremony very much.

Kensington Palace posted this beautiful photo - the Duke and Duchess will be visitng the "stunning Carcross Commons and Montana Mountain".

A little background on Carcross: Caribou Crossing was a fishing and hunting camp for Inland Tlingit and Tagish people. 4,500-year-old artifacts from First Nations people living in the area have been found in the region. Caribou Crossing was named after the migration of huge numbers of caribou over the natural land bridge between Lake Bennett and Nares Lake. That caribou herd was depleted during the Klondike Gold Rush, but a recovery program raised the number of animals to about 450. The modern village began in 1896, during the Klondike Gold Rush. At the time, Caribou Crossing was a popular stopping place for prospectors going to and from the gold fields of Dawson City. Caribou Crossing was also a station for the Royal Mail and the Dominion Telegraph Line, and it served as a communications point on the Yukon River.

The small town is home to less than 300 people.

Kate was given a beautiful bouquet of flowers as they walked through the town.

William and Kate were given a totem pole to take home.

The Duke and Duchess with Chief Carvill.

The Duke and Duchess met a carver who is working on traditional Inland Tlingit and Tagish totems. He discussed the work that goes into making each totem pole.

After hearing about the traditional Inland Tlingit and Tagish totem project, the Duchess painted an eye on a totem pole.

Prince William showcases his artistic skills.

Emily Nash reports "William and Kate climb out of the cab of a steam train on the White Pass and Yukon Route in Carcross. It was an unplanned stop but the Duke couldn't resist climbing on board and each had a go at blowing the steam whistle! The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh travelled in one of the carriages during their 1959 visit to Yukon. Choo choo!"

The children of Carcross Commons showed off their new playground.

The Duchess meets local schoolgirl Okasana Baerg.

At Montana Mountain, the Duke and Duchess received hugs from locals.

This is one of my favourite photos of the tour thus far; it's such a lovely picture depicting how warmly William and Kate have been received across British Columbia and Yukon.

More from the Daily Express:

'Gwen Wally, 48, from the Carcross Tagish First Nation shouted out to Prince William, interrupting as he and Kate were chatting to her son, Shane Wally. "I love you. I loved your mum. I've been watching you since you were little," she shouted."Is that your mother?" William asked, laughing.
"That is my mother," Shane, 26, said slightly awkwardly. "I was pretty nervous but also pretty proud. She is their biggest fan," he said after talking to the couple about a mountain bike trail scheme his family helped to set up at Montana Mountain in Carcross, Yukon, in northern Canada.
William and Kate walked across to a group of parents and grandparents  involved in the project, including Mrs Wally. They hugged her and another  member of the Carcross First Nation band, Susan James. Mrs Wally told the royal couple: "You just made the top of my bucket list. I've been following you since the days of Diana." She told Kate she had made some slippers for Prince George and Princess Charlotte but had been told she could not give then to the couple so planned to post them instead. "I'll look out for them," Kate said.'

They watched a mountain biking demonstration atop Montana Mountain with the Single Track to Success (S2S) project which not only builds world class trails, it provides life-changing experiences to local youths and contributes to tourism in the area.

The Duke and Duchess met young riders.

Montana Mountain really is breathtaking!

The Duchess championed Canadian brands for her second ensemble of the day. The brand confirmed Kate wore their Ribbed Sleeves Wrapped Coat - it has now been renamed the 'Kate Coat'.


The $920 'gull' coloured coat is described: "This double-faced superfine alpaca wrap coat has the Sentaler signature ribbed detail on sleeves. It is the perfect statement piece." The coat features a belted waist, shawl collar, two slit pockets at front and Sentaler signature ribbed detail on full sleeves.

Kate's choice of Canadian designer Sentaler will come as no surprise to many of you who suggested the brand for Kate in our 'Choose Your Dream Tour Look for Kate' posts. In fact reader 'Sonshine' actually predicted the exact coat in pink.

Sonshine/Dream Tour Looks Post

The Duchess donned a pair of brown cowgirl boots. They are the R. Soles Virgi Chocolate Suede Boots.

Kate's new earrings are by local Yukon designer, Shelley MacDonald. The $95 Ulu earrings are available to pre-order on Shelley's Etsy Page - her designs are inspired by nature and handmade.  Kate's Closet spoke with a representative for the brand who revealed the earrings were for sale in a store in Whitehorse and must have been purchased by Kate or a member of her team.

A product shot of the earrings.

Shelley MacDonald

Tomorrow promises to be a particularly exciting day - George and Charlotte will accompany their parents for a children's party at Government House. It's scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.