Canada tour: William and Kate praised as ‘strong advocates’


William says his children’s first trip to Canada starts “their own lifetime of friendship with this wonderful country”.

Canada’s Prime Minister has praised the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as “strong advocates” for young people on day two of their official visit.

Justin Trudeau said Prince William and Kate understood “how important young people are to our shared success”.

The Royal pair touched down in Vancouver on Sunday where they are due to meet Syrian refugees who have only recently resettled in Canada.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte are remaining with their nanny at Government House in Victoria as their parents visit other parts of British Columbia and Western Canada until 1 October.

The children stole the limelight as they landed in Victoria on Saturday at the start of their eight-day visit to the largest Commonwealth realm.

In many ways this was Princess Charlotte’s big moment – at just 16 months old it’s her first official Royal tour.

She was carried down the steps by her mother and didn’t appear to be fazed by the banks of photographers and camera crews waiting to see them.

But it was up to big brother Prince George to get more involved in the official duties.

Holding Prince William’s hand as he walked down the steps of the plane, the three-year-old then joined his parents meeting dignitaries including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire, eventually waving at the cameras before getting into a car.

It was one of only a few moments that the children are expected to be seen in public this week.

Speaking at the welcome event outside the British Columbia Parliament buildings, Prince William said: “Catherine and I are delighted to be back in Canada.

“When we were here last time, we had been married only three months.

“The warm welcome that you gave us at that important moment in our lives meant a lot to us – and we have never forgotten it.”

He added: “That is why we are so pleased that George and Charlotte can be with us in Canada this time round, beginning their own lifetime of friendship with this wonderful country.

“Over the next week, Catherine and I will see once again what makes Canada such a special place in the world.”

New research carried out by Ipsos to coincide with the Royal tour found that 58% of Canadians believe the constitutional monarchy helps to define Canada’s identity, with 70% thinking that William and Kate will help to keep the monarchy relevant to Canadians.

But some have complained that Canada has to foot the bill for the tour, as it is a Commonwealth realm.

Republicans also want a full parliamentary debate on the role of the Queen as head of state.

During the next eight days William and Kate have said they want to meet as many Canadians as possible in British Columbia and the Yukon.