We're back with news of an official announcement confirming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of Canada later this year. Before we chat about that, William and Kate arrived in Pau, southern France with George and Charlotte yesterday for a family holiday. They landed in a £5m Cessna owned by the Duke of Westminster. The Duke's wife, Natalia, is Prince William's godmother and their son, Hugh, is one of Prince George's godparents. The news was broken by a local French newspaper La République des Pyrénées who shared a photo from the terminal of small airport Pau-Pyrenees.
|La Rep de Pyrenees|
More from the Express:
'Kate, 34, and others in their entourage were spotted transferring into two waiting blacked-out Range Rovers. Friends have confirmed that William and their children, Prince George, 3, and 14-month-old Princess Charlotte are also with her on the holiday.
A local French newspaper, La Rep des Pyrenees, quoted sources saying the party, which is thought to include the children's nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, were going to stay with relatives.'
It is not known where the family are staying, although there are several potential areas close to the airport including the coastal resort of Biarritz, which became a popular resort in the 1800s when European royalty began visiting. It's also a major surfing destination. It's a beautiful time of year to visit southern France, and I'm sure the foursome will have a splendid time.
France is a very popular destination for the family. They took their first holiday as a family of four in the French Alps in March, when George and Charlotte had their first opportunity to play in the snow, and keen skiers William and Kate took to the slopes during the break. Hello! reports the family also used the Duke of Westminster's jet for the trip. A selection of photographs were released following their return to the UK.
We saw the Cambridges visit France just weeks ago in their official capacity for events commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
'The family holiday is confirmation if it was needed that after Prince Charles and Camilla's visit to the Sandringham Flower Show today, the summer season of working in Britain is over for the Royal family. On Tuesday it emerged that Prince Harry is to spend the next few weeks working on conservation projects in southern Africa after a similar trip last year.'
August is traditionally the British royals' summer holiday month. With Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh in Balmoral, the rest of the family disperse from the spotlight to enjoy the time off. Whilst it's possible William and Kate may have an engagement or two lined up for later in the month, I suspect, by and large, it will be a quiet one for the entire Royal family. There was talk of the Cambridges possibly attending the Olympics in Rio; several reliable royal sources confirmed - following much consideration - they have decided not to travel. I imagine medical advice regarding the Zika virus will have been an important factor in their decision.
Who's ready for another royal tour this year?
Earlier today, Kensington Palace confirmed the Duke and Duchess will visit Canada this autumn at the invitation of the Canadian government. A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess are delighted to be returning to Canada. They hold very happy memories from their visit in 2011 - their first overseas tour as a married couple. They are really looking forward to seeing other parts of this beautiful country and having the opportunity to meet many more Canadians along the way."
William and Kate's tour to Canada in 2011 was a particularly special one. Not only was it the couple's first overseas tour together since their wedding, the public very much got to know Kate, who was new to her royal role at the time. We saw her interacting with children, meeting crowds and officials, and taking an array of events in her stride, including the unforgettable dragon boat race.
Most memorably, it was fascinating to see the dynamic between William and Kate - on one hand a future king and queen representing the Royal family, and on the other young newlyweds in love. Five year and two children later, it seems most appropriate to return for another tour.
Of course, the question on everyone's lips is, will George and Charlotte be accompanying their parents? The official word is "they will decide closer to the date", however, it is very much expected they will. If so, we'll likely see the adorable pair for airport arrivals/departures and a couple of specially planned engagements similar to George's appearances during the 2014 Australia/New Zealand tour.
|Rebecca English Twitter Feed|
Kensington Palace revealed the Cambridges will visit British Columbia and Yukon as part of their trip. British Columbia is known as Canada’s westernmost province, stretching along the Pacific coast, with the vibrant city of Vancouver at its southern border. Dominated by mountain ranges, it’s a major skiing destination and home to Whistler, co-host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Hikers, campers and anglers are drawn to its sprawling parks and reserves. There's a host of potential locations and landmarks the couple would no doubt love to explore. Below, we see the scenic Yoho National Park, located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Yukon, a territory in northwest Canada, is described as "wild, mountainous and sparsely populated". It’s known for dog-sledding, canoe expeditions, hiking, salmon fishing and other outdoor pursuits, as well as for the colourful northern lights sometimes seen in its nighttime sky. Kluane National Park and Reserve includes Mt Logan, Canada’s highest peak, as well as glaciers, trails and the Alsek River, renowned for rafting. Both ideal destinations for outdoor lovers such as William and Kate.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement:
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, said:
“We are delighted by the Governor General’s announcement that Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will visit Canada this fall. During their stay, the Duke and Duchess will travel to British Columbia and Yukon on a visit that will showcase some of Canada’s finest natural beauty.
“This Royal Tour, the second undertaken by Their Royal Highnesses to Canada, also presents a unique opportunity for Canadians of all backgrounds to meet with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and learn more about our heritage, traditions, and institutions. Our government looks forward to providing Canadians with further details closer to the beginning of the Royal Tour.”
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, said:
"Sharon and I will be delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canada. Their Royal Tour will take them to the beautiful province of British Columbia and the scenic territory of Yukon. Once again, our true Canadian pride and spirit will shine and be at the very heart of this visit so they can feel at home."
There will be enormous interest in Kate's tour wardrobe, too. In India, we saw the Duchess don an array of pretty prints and long colourful dresses. Should the children go, I imagine the tour will have a slightly more informal feel, as their 2011 visit did, and there will be less evening events scheduled to ensure the couple can put George and Charlotte to bed at night. Kate's strong relationship with Erdem began during the 2011 tour and his elegant designs will likely feature.
|Canadian Heritage Flickr|
Kate's favoured navy blazer by Canadian brand Smythe could make another appearance during this tour too. The Duchess recently wore it for the RAF International Air Tattoo earlier this month. We'll be taking a closer look at possibilities nearer the tour.
The full itinerary will be released closer to the date. It is not known exactly when the tour will be; The Telegraph reports it will be some time in September. It should be another exciting tour and it will be a real treat if George and Charlotte go. It's interesting to see William and Kate's royal role growing; this year will be the first time they undertake two full-scale tours on behalf of Her Majesty. Are you looking forward to the tour? Do any of our readers in Canada have any suggestions they would love to see on the itinerary?
Finally, there's still time to enter our Azuni London giveaway, featuring a pair of Kate's Athena Earrings with the very pretty Hera Pendant. To enter, all details can be found in our last post.
We'll update the post should additional details emerge.