Time for a night off! Duchess Kate and Prince William's have arrived in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, where they will stay overnight - their one and only night away from their children Prince William and Princess Charlotte on their entire Canadian tour.
The British royals were greeted off their plane by a gang of Canadian Rangers and Junior Rangers, who met them at Whitehorse airport, before they travelled to a Yukon Arts event at Kwanlin Dunn, for a cultural performance.
Earlier in the day, whilst still in British Columbia, the gung-ho couple took a mouthful of a local (yet somewhat visually challenging delicacy) – the geoduck clam.
The foodie delight is unusually shaped, and on encountering the sea creature at the British Columbia food festival Prince William was initially unimpressed. “Presentationally they are quite challenging,” the Prince admitted, as chef Ned Ball informed him the shell fish was “getting more popular all the time.”
A few stands later, however, at the Taste of BC festival at the Mission Hill winery, the couple’s second introduction to geoduck (this time prepared by Japanese chef Hidekazu Tojo) was more successful. The bizarre-looking shellfish had been transformed into thinly sliced wild geoduck sashimi, garnished with a Miso Mustard Sauce. Both William and Kate tucked in!
There is a slightly firmer texture to this,” said the duchess. “It’s really unusual. I've never seen it before. It's so fresh from the sea.”
“It is an extraordinary species,” agreed Chef Ned. “You can eat the body, but you can also eat the neck raw, which is what they ate. Here on the west coast we have some of the best wild, well-managed shellfish in the world.”
After their unusual culinary experience, the royal duo, (accompanied by HELLO!’s royal correspondent Emily Nash, among others) then flew to the town of Whitehorse in the Yukon territory.
Oh hi, Yukon! Stunning views from William and Kate's Royal Canadian Air Force plane coming in to land at Whitehorse. Looking chilly out there! 🇨🇦✈️🌨
A photo posted by Emily Nash (@emilynashhello) on
The trip took them to the much colder north of the country (the northern lights can be seen here) and as well as being greeted by Canadian Rangers, they were also met by the Governor-General of Canada David Johnston and his wife Sharon and a large number of dignitaries.
“Welcome to northern Canada,” Mr Johnston told his royal visitors. “This is a vast and important part of the country, that’s home to a truly wonderful people.Something about this part of the country humbles and inspires us and forces us to discover new things.”
Wheelchair user Macey Hangartner gave the duchess, who was dressed in a recycled Hobbs coat, a bouquet of flowers on behalf of Special Olympics Yukon. Reem Aarafat, who represented a group of volunteers working to bring refugee families to the area - Yukon Cares – gave Kate a posy of blooms.
The couple were then taken to the Kwanlin Dun cultural centre where an arts show was staged to welcome them.
The royal pair watched young Yukon singers and impressive breakdancing. “That was the most incredible performance that Catherine and I have ever seen," William told the performers. "You should be very proud"
Following their entertainment, the down-to-earth royals will head to their hotel for the night, the three star Coast High Country Inn in the town of Whitehorse. The couple have been given the hotel's newly renovated presidential suite with a jacuzzi, which would usually cost £15 a night.
In the morning, the royal couple will travel to MacBride Museum in the nearby town, before being treated to a street party in the thriving arts and culture centre. They will return to Victoria that afternoon to reunite with their two children and will enjoy some much-needed down time on Thursday morning, privately with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.