Saturday, July 02, 2011

Day Two - William and Catherine's Royal Tour - Parliament Hill

Exactly one year ago, Prince William's grandmother attended the Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Like many royal ladies have previously done, the Queen wore red and white, along with a Maple leaf brooch. The large diamond-encrusted maple leaf brooch, was originally presented to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother when she first visited Canada in 1939. The gift of a maple leaf brooch follows a long-standing tradition. In 1901, the future Queen Mary, visited Canada on a seven-month-long tour where she was given an enamel maple leaf spray. In 1923, Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother received as a wedding gift a gold maple leaf brooch set with diamonds.

Via Canadian Heritage Flickr
Fast forward a year and we have another royal lady in Ottawa, on Canada Day, also wearing red and white and the same brooch. Though 56 years separate the Queen and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in age, showing patriotism through fashion never goes out of style.

Catherine cream dress called the Nannette by Reiss, is familiar to many as it is the same one she wore in one of the official engagement portraits by Mario Testino. She paired this with the Queen's Maple leaf brooch, a red hat by Sylvia Fletcher at Lock and Co, topped with maple leaves.  Her straw cream and red fan clutch was by Anya Hindmarch, and in case anyone missed the patriotic point of the outfit, red heels. After the previous day's dark outfits, it was a refreshing change to see show some color.

William and Catherine started their morning at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec where they attended a citizenship ceremony, no doubt delighting the 25 new Canadians. The visit had a personal touch as a piper played a piece created especially for them called St. Andrews Courtship, inspired by the university in Scotland where they first met.

Via Canadian heritage Flickr
At Parliament Hill, a record-breaking 300,000 people waited in the sweltering head in anticipation of their arrival. William and Catherine arrived on the Hill with an RCMP escort, using the same horse-drawn landau used for previous royal visits. They were welcomed by various dignitaries, including the Governor General and Prime Minister. Throughout the two hour appearance, they were treated to a CF-18 fly-past, and performances by Canadian artists.

The crowds were delighted when William finally spoke, first in French, then in English, conveying the Queen's 'warmest wishes' and emphasizing their pride in the Armed Forces.  He added a personal touch when he noted that his wife's grandfather had trained in Alberta as a pilot.

Canadian Heritage Flickr
After the event the couple went on an informal walk-about with the crowds before departing in a large black SUV. The were not scheduled to attend any other events that day but later that evening they attended the evening show. Catherine, wearing her hair up, looked lovely in a purple jersey Issa dress.

On July 2 they depart for Montréal, Quebec.
© Marilyn Braun 2011

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