I must admit that over this past year, I have been EXTREMELY lucky with seeing Kate Middleton up close and in person. Not only did I find myself standing immediately behind her in line in Topshop last September (see my story here), but I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see Kate AND Will up close and personal during their Canadian tour in July 2011…..TWICE!!! I was fortunate enough to meet Prince William and shake his hand…..and hand him the bracelet I had made for Kate. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
A number of you have been asking me for my pictures of seeing Kate and William during their Royal Tour of Canada in 2011. So I’ve put together some of my personal pics and video here along with some tidbits about my whole experience camping out for 19 hours on Parliament Hill in Canada to see William and Kate in the flesh on Canada Day!
A huge thank you goes out to the Monarchist League of Canada, which made half of this experience possible, as they arranged for a VIP invite from the Governor General of Canada to attend the Official Welcome Ceremony at Rideau Hall.
OFFICIAL WELCOME CEREMONY AT RIDEAU HALL, OTTAWA (JUNE 30, 2011)
CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS ON PARLIAMENT HILL (July 1, 2011)
**Immediately after I attended the Official Welcome Ceremony for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Rideau Hall on June 30, 2011, I made my way to Parliament Hill in order to secure a front row spot for the Canada Day celebrations to take place the following day. I was surprised to find that having arrived at 5:30pm on June 30, 2011, I was not the first person to set up camp on the Hill. Upon arrival, I met two wonderful ladies who had indeed been camped out for the past 2 days! One of these women had met Prince Charles and Princess Diana in this very spot in 1983.
At around 8pm, several media personnel had showed up to interview the first campers. Around 10pm more campers arrived on the Hill and it was at around 2am that the entire first row had been claimed. There were a good number of us battling the cold all night long on the Hill and attempting to sleep in our chairs (as tents were banned).
By 6am the crowds were already 3-4 people deep and there were still 6 hours to go until the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Those who arrived at around 6am were disappointed that the first line had already been filled with people. However, there was still a chance for some to secure a front row spot on the other side of the red carpet which had been blocked off by police in order to allow for the raising of the flag and the changing of the guards.
The Duke and Duchess arrive….
Once the Duke and Duchess arrived and the Canada Day noon show commenced, a large number of individuals in the crowd started to collapse due to heat exhaustion. Paramedics were kept extremely busy, lifting people over the barriers and carrying them away on stretchers. I was told that 28 people in total were treated for heat exhaustion. With all this commotion occurring during the show, I was certain that security would rush the Duke and Duchess right down the red carpet without a chance for a walkabout. I decided to ask one of the RCMP officers whether this would indeed be the case and she responded that William and Catherine would most definitely be doing a walkabout and that they had come to Canada to meet as many Canadians as possible and that they wanted to make a point in doing so.
Prince William comes my way….
Sure enough, after making his way down the red carpet past the performers and those individuals who had been seated in the VIP section, the Duke of Cambridge walked over to the barrier lined with people who had camped out and battled the heat just for a chance to meet him.
I, myself, had put together a silver charm bracelet for the Duchess. I wanted to give something to the Duchess on behalf of all Canadians to commemorate her first official royal tour in Canada. While the Duchess was working the crowd on the other side of the red carpet, William, the Duke of Cambridge, was very happy to accept the bracelet for her.
The 19 hours spent camped out on Parliament Hill was difficult but well worth it. It was worth it not only because I was able to meet the Duke of Cambridge and be part of a historical event, but because many friendships were made with fellow campers. The one thing I found that I and my neighbouring campers had in common was a love for the Canadian monarchy and the recognition that the monarchy is an integral part of Canadian history and tradition. We all wanted to be part of that and to have a chance to meet the two people who represent the bright future of the Canadian monarchy.
For all you who appreciate the Royal Family and the Monarchy and who would like to keep updated on the Canadian Royal Family, I highly encourage you to visit the website of the Monarchist League of Canada and become a member.
Join the Monarchist League of Canada today!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this personal diary entry of my experience seeing Will & Kate during their Royal Tour of Canada. I have my fingers crossed for each and every one of you that your turn will come one day