Royal visit: Prince William and Kate make final Vancouver stop at Kitsilano Coast Guard Station
The royal tour of Vancouver wrapped up at the Kitsilano Coast Guard Base where Prince William and Kate boarded a hovercraft for their journey back to Victoria.
The day began downtown when Prince William and Kate arrived by float plane just before 11 a.m. Sunday.
They were greeted by thousands of fans at Jack Poole Plaza and took the time to chat, shake some hands, receive some flowers and even a stuffed bear for the youngsters.
Heather Grandy and her eight-month-old daughter came face-to-face with the Duchess.
“She asked how old she was and said that she was really cute … she was very sweet, very nice,” said Grandy.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are not travelling with their parents today, and remain at Government House in Victoria, which is serving as the family’s home base for most of the eight-day visit.
After their walkabout, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left in the motorcade for private visits to two local charities.
Allison Wright, a mother of two, spoke to the Duke and Duchess.
“They seemed interested in hearing just about our human experience and our experience with our children … seeing us as humans and not just a problem to be solved,” said Wright afterwards.
The royal couple then met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau outside the Immigrant Services Society of B.C.’s new welcome centre.
Inside they talked to two families living at the $24.5-million facility, which offers English-language classes, housing, employment and settlement programs for newly arrived immigrants and refugees.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained to the royal couple how Canada is helping 31,000 refugees from Syria settle into life in Vancouver, including dealing with the weather.
“It’s about neighbours helping them get used to the winters — although it’s the rain here in Vancouver. Other than that, it’s really the story of tremendous success because of Canadians, and not because of any one government,” said Trudeau.
Then William and Kate left for the Telus Gardens building downtown to take part in a reception hosted by the prime minister and meet young Canadians making a difference in their communities.
Just after 3 p.m. they arrived at the newly reopened Kitsilano Coast Guard Station to discuss the mental health challenges of first responders, and meet Indigenous leaders.
Afterwards they stepped outside for a walk on the bike path and a look at the search and rescue equipment before departing by hovercraft to the Sea Island Base, and then by helicopter for Victoria.
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