When I first heard that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were going to be doing an official to visit Vancouver, I have to admit that I was super excited. I knew that I was going to be in town on the day they were scheduled to be in Vancouver, so of course I was going to try and see them!
Prince William and Catherine were scheduled to arrive on a float plane at Jack Poole Plaza at 10:45am on Sunday September 25th. My mum and I planned to get there early at around 8am, but one thing lead to another and we didn’t end up getting to the plaza until around 9:30am… We did, however, stop to grab a coffee and some flowers on our way downtown. It was extremely fortunate that we came across a flower shop (very easily I might add – it was in the same block as the Starbucks) that happened to be open, given that it was 9am on a Sunday morning. I hurriedly tried to pick out a few beautiful stems of flowers, thinking that Catherine (in my mind, I was determined that the flowers that I was picking were going to be handed to Catherine) would want something small and easy to hold onto.
As it turns out, our spot at Jack Poole Plaza wasn’t the best… Sure, we got there pretty late in comparison to people who had camped out overnight, but we were in the second row on the railing on the road. This was the view from our spot:
Our spot had so much potential, but it was completely ruined by all the press standing in the way! Prince William and Catherine were then ushered into their car and whisked away. I think I saw the top of Prince William’s head and a section of Catherine’s (beautifully shiny) hair. We were so disappointed.
I refused to believe that that was the best we could do. We walked back to the car and I insisted that we drive straight to the Vanier park parking lot and wait until their scheduled visit of the Canadian Coast Guard Station that afternoon. It was about 11:30am at this point, and they were not scheduled to show up at the Coast Guard Station until 3pm.
After parking in the parking lot (Whyte Avenue closure to the public started at 12pm – we made it just in time!), we started talking to a lovely man who was working at this Royal event. We asked if he knew where the best place to stand was, and he told us to head to the parking lot below the Bard on the Beach tents. Off we went and we got a spot on the railing exactly there (with my flowers for Catherine in tow).
Probably about half an hour after we got our spot, some friends of ours coincidentally showed up and managed to squeeze into the very limited space that remained on the railing. And so the waiting continued….
Fast forward a couple hours to about 3pm… Prince William and Catherine arrived and went into the Coast Guard Station. We weren’t in a spot by the Royals for their arrival – we picked our spot so that we could see their departure. And OH DID WE SEE THEIR DEPARTURE. On Prince William’s way to the hovercraft (their mode of transportation for their departure from Vancouver), HE CAME RIGHT OVER TO ME, SHOOK MY HAND (AND MY MUM’S), AND ASKED IF HE COULD HAVE MY FLOWERS FOR CATHERINE!!!!!!!!! I was so excited! I had come up with a whole list of things that I was planning to say to both Prince William and Catherine, but of course I barely even got out “YES! Please have the flowers!”
My friend managed to snap this photo of me shaking hands with HRH Prince William while she was watching the live coverage of the event:
I was also fortunate enough to meet and shake hands with Sophie Trudeau because she was walking with Prince William – so much excitement!
I am still trying to calm down from all the excitement and the honour of meeting the future King of England. He was warm, genuine, and just so lovely. It is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. Thank you, Your Royal Highness!
My Mum also took these pictures on the DSLR:
I’ll leave you with one last photo, taken directly from PM Justin Trudeau’s Twitter page (notice my pink flowers make an appearance at the bottom too!):
PS – After the Royals departed the coast guard station, I was interviewed by multiple news stations: