Will & Kate's B.C. Adventure - September, 2016
They are coming! On Saturday, September 24 (with subsequent visits on September 27, 29 and October 1,) the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will be visiting Victoria! Check out this guide to Will & Kate's Victoria favourites, as well as lots of British things that you can do in town.
Image: Shaun Jeffers
Kate's Victoria Favourites
Take a Fashion Tour
The Duchess of Cambridge is known for her impeccable style and covetable wardrobe. She's known for dressing in everything from top labels to everyday brands and local designers. Find pieces in Victoria to replicate Kate's classic look.
Kate is partial to classic, understated jewellery with a bit of sparkle. Idar Jewellers will be the perfect stop to find a handcrafted piece created by celebrated local goldsmith, Idar Bergseth. Each item is an original work; hand forged using white, yellow and red gold with rare natural coloured diamonds. In Tonic Boutique, located in Market Square, Kate could shop for locally-made metal and leather accessories and at Artina's Jewellery, she could choose a piece of "wearable art" from the work of over 100 Canadian designers.
Image: Tonic Boutique in Market Square
Lower Johnson Street is lined with many small boutique shops who feature unique clothing items, accessories and household goods that are handmade and beautifully-crafted. We think Kate would enjoy the structured dresses and leather accessories at Oxford, or the soft, pretty pieces at Still Life for Her and Suasion Boutique.
Image: Boutique shopping on Lower Johnson Street in the heart of Victoria.
Kate may also enjoy picking out some original pieces and beautiful shoes at Heart and Sole Shoes. Tucked inside a cosy Tudor-style heritage building close to trendy Mosaic Village in downtown Victoria, the store is full of distinctive shoes from brands such as John Fluevog and Camper along with pretty accessories.
We think she would love to spend an afternoon exploring Chinatown, especially if she's with Charlotte and George. A walk down Fan Tan Alley would be great for more boutique shopping for Kate, and a great place to stop for an ice cream at Kid Sister.
Image: Kate could shop to her heart's content in Fan Tan Alley.
See Local Art
Given her inclination to the arts, perhaps Kate would enjoy a visit to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. The Gallery, the largest on Vancouver Island, is housed in a combination of contemporary exhibition spaces and the remarkable 1889 Spencer mansion. The Gallery has an outstanding collection of art from Asia including one of the only authentic Shinto shrines outside of Japan and significant works by celebrated Victoria artist, Emily Carr.
While in Victoria, Kate could also pay a visit to the Emily Carr House, the artist's actual home which is now open for daily tours.
Image: Outside of the Emily Carr House
Kate could also find traditional potlatch masks, basketry, shamanic devices, button blankets, totem poles, artefacts, and more at Out of the Mist Gallery, or take George and Charlotte to The Robert Bateman Centre.
Here, they would admire the legendary Canadian artist's striking nature paintings and learn about the Songhees First Nation upon whose land the gallery sits through the newest Resilience of the People exhibition.
Image: Robert Bateman Centre at Victoria's Inner Harbour
Will's Victoria Favourites
Connect with Local History
Prince William has a strong connection to the British military. After training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as a cadet, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant, later qualified as a pilot, trained with the navy and underwent helicopter training to work with R.A.F. Search and Rescue until 2013.
We think the Duke of Cambridge would be fascinated by a tour of Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse. The fort, a National Historic Site, is a West Coast artillery fortress built in the late 1890s to defend Victoria and the Esquimalt Naval Base and was on active duty from 1895 to 1956.
Image: Fisgard Lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill
Visitors can tour through secret bunkers, explore gun batteries and underground magazines built a century ago, as well as searchlight emplacements and command posts. With Kate's passion for photography, she would also enjoy this location to capture photos of the historic lighthouse and beautiful Olympic Mountains in the distance.
Will might also enjoy a day at the British Columbia Aviation Museum. Dedicated to preserving aircraft and artefacts, the museum's society collect, restore and display aircraft and objects related to the history of aviation in Canada, with emphasis on British Columbia aviation history.
Image: One of the vintage airplanes at the BC Aviation Museum
He could take the kids to the Royal BC Museum to see the Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age Exhibition as well as the Our Living Languages Gallery, where George and Charlotte could learn more about First Nations languages and how they are being preserved in British Columbia. If they're also interested in airplanes, the three of them could take in the IMAX film Living in the Age of Airplanes.
Image: The Royal BC Museum
Afterward, William could take the kids to Thunderbird Park, just outside the museum, to see real totem poles and First Nations artwork.
Image: Thunderbird Park at the Royal BC Museum
Stay tuned for more upcoming blogs on the Royals visit to Victoria (can you say Royal treatments?) and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live coverage of Will & Kate's visit in September.