Upon arrival in Bella Bella, the royals were welcomed by the Heiltsuk community in a traditional ceremony. They then made their way to the Wawiskas Community Hall to witness a cultural celebration.
The couple were set to experience views of the wilderness for themselves with an aerial tour of the rainforest in a float plane. Unfortunately, the weather put paid to the tour and all water activities scheduled for the day. CTV News reported: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be met with more than pristine wilderness when they tour B.C.'s rugged central coast: high winds and heavy rain is in the forecast. Up to 40 millimetres of rain will drench Bella Bella Monday, with winds gusting up to 50 kilometres an hour, according to Environment Canada."
Premier Christy Clark shared this photo of William and Kate's arrival and noted "the royals came prepared for the rain".
It's undoubtedly very disappointing to have to cancel some of the events as one of the key aims for the itinerary was very much planned to allow William and Kate to explore the rugged wilderness of Canada's West Coast and the rainforest tour would have given them great insight into the area. Despite the change of plans, the couple were eager to stick to the itinerary as closely as possible. Federal tour co-ordinator Dominique Colin said: "Bella Bella is an incredible place with a wonderful community. We will have a great day…whatever the weather."
Whilst meeting locals chiefs William said: "It wouldn't be the rainforest without the rain, it's authentic! We're very excited to be here. Stunning views."
The Duke and Duchess enjoyed the performances.
The Palace tweeted a photo with the caption: "Children are the real stars of today's welcome."
William and Kate looked quite taken with these adorable babies :)
The local community were excited to welcome the royals.
William and Kate were given blankets and 'dancing vests' by the Heiltsuk people for George and Charlotte.
During his speech Prince William said: "It gives me great pleasure to be here today as the Great Bear Rainforest is officially committed to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. By 2018, it is expected that all 53 countries of the Commonwealth will have joined the Queen's Canopy, creating a global network of forests that will benefit indigenous communities, wildlife and tourism now, and into the future. Her Majesty is immensely grateful to you, and the people of Canada, for the leadership you have shown in making this contribution."
Prince William extends gratitude of the Queen in helping to preserve the Canada's Great Bear Rainforest #RoyalVisit https://t.co/zYYGioRBwo— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) September 26, 2016
The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy is a unique network of forest conservation initiatives, which involves all fifty-three countries of the Commonwealth. It presents a rare opportunity to unite the whole Commonwealth family and save one of the world’s most important natural habitats – forests. Creating a pan-Commonwealth network of forest conservation projects, the QCC will mark Her Majesty the Queen’s service to the Commonwealth while conserving indigenous forests for future generations.
The Great Bear Rainforest is known as the 'Amazon of the North' and stretches for more than 250 miles along the Pacific coast of British Columbia. It is home to the rare Kermode bear, which is deemed to be sacred by the T'simshian people. Also known as the Spirit Bear, it is a sub-species of black bear with white fur.
The temperate rain forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled temperate rainforest left in the world. It was officially recognized by the Government of British Columbia in February 2016, when it announced an agreement to permanently protect 85% of the old-growth forested area from industrial logging.
The couple pictured leaving the lodge with smiles as the weather picked up...
...Enough for them to talk a walk down a boardwalk in Great Bear Rainforest.
William and Kate unveiled a plaque to mark their visit.
As expected the Duchess was casually attired for the day.
Kate wore a cream jacket by Holland and Holland. The eagle-eyed What Kate Wore quickly identified it as the brand's Ladies Lightweight Multipocket Safari Jacket. The jacket is made from lightweight Sahara cotton and features four patch pockets on the front, with a center back vent opening into a split at the bottom. Cinched in at the waist with a full top-stitched Sahara cotton belt, it originally retailed for $780.
More on the history of Royal Warrant holders Holland & Holland:
'Holland & Holland have been at the pinnacle of British gun making for over a century but the roots of the company are rather unconventional. The founder was not a gunmaker, but a London tobacconist, who happened to be a fine competition pigeon shot. His name was Harris Holland and he started having guns built to order in the 1840s.
By 1850, ‘H. Holland’ was a ‘gun-maker’ and Harris Holland’s successes in the pigeon ring continued to be reported in the press, no doubt aiding sales. With expansion, came a move from King Street to Bond Street, in the heart of fashionable Mayfair.
In 1860, Henry William Holland joined the company as an apprentice. He would become an inventive genius and gifted businessman, helping drive his uncle’s firm forward. He lodged the first of the company’s fifty one patents in 1861and became a partner in 1876, thereby creating ‘Holland & Holland’. During the rest of 19th century the company prospered; notably winning all classes in the 1883 rifle trials held by ‘The Field’ magazine and gaining Royal Warrants from the King of Italy and King George V, among others. In 1885 the name ‘Royal’ was adopted for the firm’s best guns.'
The company now stocks womenswear, menswear and accessories collections.
Kate teamed the jacket with a blue sweater, checked shirt and Zara jeans.
Kate's Closet suggests Kate wore the navy blue Topshop Gingham Print Shirt. The A/W style comes in a lightweight chiffon. It's currently available in all sizes for $65 on the US Site and £34 on the UK site.
For those fond of gingham shirts, Topshop also stocks the 'Alexa' Gingham Shirt in blue and red. It's available at Nordstrom and Topshop.
The Duchess selected her trusty Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots for the day. The £475 boots remain available and are described: "The original Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boot in Spanish vegetable-dyed leather. This handmade boot is cut close to the ankle for a more feminine fit, has a scalloped detail at the zip panel and a leather tassel on the zip pull. It is fully leather lined and has a Goodyear Welted Commando rubber sole."
The boots are becoming something of a tour favourite; the Duchess also wore them for the hike to Tiger's Nest during April's tour of India and Bhutan.
Kate's pretty new earrings are by Canadian designer Pippa Small. Kate's earrings are the 'Kite' style. What Kate Wore shared news "they are the large size and available at Pippa Small boutiques in London and LA. They are £1,200". Below, the smaller version of the earrings (as you can see there are noticeable differences between these and Kate's) the Small Kite Earrings, 18K gold, available at Piednunola.
The designer "has established a cult following with her striking organic necklaces, rings and earrings. Each covetable piece is designed in London and crafted in Rajasthan, India, by a team of highly skilled goldsmiths and stonecutters". More on Pippa Small from Matches:
'Born in Canada but raised in the English countryside, Pippa Small was naturally drawn to jewellery-making, collecting gems and shells as a child. Later, to fund her anthropology degree, she resumed jewellery design, going on to collaborate with the likes of Gucci and Chloé, before launching her own eclectic, travel-inspired line. Her signatures? Uncut precious stones, talismanic pendants and 18kt Bolivian gold.'
Pippa Small is involved in a number of ethical projects. "I began working on my 'projects' about eight years ago, sure that there would be a way to bring benefit from working with traditional communities. I feel that jewellery has the potential to change lives by working with communities, creating jobs and opportunities, and using design to raise money and awareness. It has given the communities a re-found respect for traditional materials and a sense of self confidence and pride in their creations." You can read more here. I expect this may have been a key factor in attracting Kate to the brand; it's great to see the Duchess championing a Canadian designer!
**This post will be updated with info and photos as the day progresses**
- Global News has an arrival video here.
- Rebecca English posted a video from the welcoming ceremony on Twitter.
Tonight, William and Kate will attend an evening reception hosted by the province of British Columbia at Government House. It is set to be the most formal event on the itinerary and we expect to see Kate in evening/cocktail attire.