I’ve taken a recent interest in the Duchess of Cambridge (as my Instagram
followers certainly know) and in fact have joined the many women who have fun “RepliKating” her clothing and accessories
. I was very interested to hear that the Duke and Duchess would soon be visiting Canada, and curious about a lot of the protocols and details surrounding William and Kate’s Canadian Tour.
For information, I turned to Amanda Effie, editor at What Would Kate Do? (one of my new favourite sites!) who also happens to be a resident of British Columbia, where the royal couple (perhaps entire family) will soon visit.
Amanda graciously answered all of my burning questions about the impending royal tour.
Would Prime Minister Trudeau’s invitation have been sent and accepted privately before we heard about it, or were we really getting those details in real time?
It would have been discussed privately well ahead of time between the offices of the Cambridges at Kensington Palace and the UK in Canada program, unfortunately not by Justin Trudeau calling up the Cambridges and asking them to come over for a visit (although isn’t that more fun to think about?)
When Canadians show up at royal appearances as spectators, is there any special protocol to keep in mind? What about anyone who has the honour of meeting the Duke or Duchess (how to address them, etc.)?
As Canada is a commonwealth nation, curtsying would be proper protocol if meeting them in a formal capacity. We wrote an article a few years ago about the etiquette of meeting the Queen – and since William and Kate will be here representing Her Majesty, those rules would be very helpful. Since very few Canadians will likely have that honour, it is more likely that they will see Will and Kate as spectators during walkabouts or when they are en route somewhere. Given that distinction, there are several other “rules” which are also extremely helpful when meeting a Royal such as never touching them and always being respectful of both their roles as Ambassadors for the UK as well as the fact that they are human beings. We’ll also throw in a modern situation we see so often with people meeting the Duke and Duchess on walkabouts – put your phone away!
What fashion items do you predict we will see from Kate?
Kate and her stylist team do significant research before all tours and often pay homage to the host country through fashion choices. The last time Kate was in Canada in 2011, for example, she wore a now iconic Erdem (Canadian designer) lace dress for one event and paired a gorgeous Maple Leaf brooch with several of her ensembles. For this Tour, we absolutely expect to continue to see her wearing Canadian brands or brands with Canadian designers at the helm such as Pink Tartan or Smythe. Also since Canada’s new “First Lady” is such a proponent and fan of Canadian fashion, it’s possible that Kate will step up her Made-In-Canada game for events when she is seen with Sophie Trudeau. Perhaps we will also see her break out the Lululemon we saw her buying in London a few months ago for casual events and I’d put good money on the Smythe blazer (that one of our team members desperately wants to borrow from Kate’s closet) making an appearance!
I know some critics have questioned the fact that royals often wear traditional clothing items from the cultures of the countries they visit – saying that it’s “cultural appropriation”. What do you think of this? Do you believe it’s insulting or a compliment to the host countries?
This is a tough question. Like we mentioned before, Kate and her team do extensive research on the country they are visiting and the traditions of the people in that country in order to pay respect to them, definitely not to insult or diminish their cultural values. Think of the cape that Kate wore whilst visiting Bhutan on the last tour – was absolutely a nod to the country’s rich heritage. With Will and Kate spending time on the West Coast on this particular tour, I think it could be very likely to see them spend time with members of Canada’s Aboriginal communities who have such rich and powerful histories and stories, so there could be clothing or items chosen to honour that part of Canadian history.
When the royals visit other countries, how much input do you think they have in the itinerary? I know for example that being a “selective” eater would make some such events awkward for me! Do you think personal preferences and comfort levels are taken into account?
In all honesty, it is probably very little – it usually follows in line with their official patronages. To be fair though, the patronages are chosen by the Royals themselves. In Will and Kate’s case, this includes wildlife preserves, children’s hospice care, the arts and mental health initiatives. I think we will see engagements entering around those things that the couple are passionate about… But I think there will also be some downtime on the trip given that they are traveling with their children – William was quoted as saying he wanted to take George fishing!
Photo: Kensington Palace
Knowing they will be visiting British Columbia and Yukon, do you have any predictions for specific destinations?
My house (just kidding!) It’s hard to guess without seeing their full itinerary, but since we are now hearing that Vancouver will be their first destination, I can imagine that whilst in Vancouver they could visit Stanley Park (perhaps if it can be arranged with security concerns take George and Charlotte to the Aquarium?), spend some time on Granville Island (there is an amazing non-profit community Arts studio there that I could see Kate loving) or perhaps a visit to one of our amazing gardens – perhaps either the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden or Van Duesen Gardens for an event. The couple will absolutely be making a stop in Whistler and I could also see them making a trip out to the Island.
I imagine William and Kate will have to balance the children’s privacy with the public’s desire to see the little prince and princess. How much should we expect to see the children during the visit?
Unfortunately for us, it is likely very little. We saw George only a handful of times on the Australia trip. We will probably only see them upon arrivals and maybe 1-2 events which have been specifically designed with them in mind.
There are some in Canada who wish to abolish the monarchy. Do you think this visit could have a strategic angle – getting younger Canadians to feel good about the monarchy again?
This is also a tough question seeing as everyone has such different political views on the matter. I think that no matter your view on Canada remaining or ceasing to be a member of the Commonwealth, you can agree that William, Kate, George and Charlotte’s visit will do a couple of things. One, it will direct the international spotlight on our gorgeous country which I think can never be a bad idea. And second, it will allow the media to focus on charitable patronages in Canada which the Cambridge family will shine a light on with their visit. No one can dispute that Kate has emerged as an international celebrity in her own right. What we’ve noticed in writing the blog for the last almost 5 years is that people are often initially attracted to Kate for her style, but then also learn that she supports mental health initiatives, for example. Then those girls and women take more active roles in their communities supporting charities that align with Kate’s patronages. Those two things can’t be all bad, no matter your position on the Royal Family overall!
Thank you so much to Amanda from What Would Kate Do? for sharing her expertise on the Cambridges with us, and we are counting on full coverage of the royal visit from you! (Fingers crossed you get to see the royal couple!)