The Duchess made a stylish entrance.
Tonight's reception has been dubbed as the most formal event on the tour itinerary. Hosting an event at Government House seemed an ideal choice for a number of reasons aside from its prominence as the residency of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. It is serving as the Cambridges' base throughout the tour, allowing them to travel back and forth from engagements to spend as much time with the children as possible. In terms of privacy throughout their stay it was an ideal choice.
It stands in the provincial capital on a 14.6 hectares (36 acres) estate at 1401 Rockland Avenue; while the equivalent building in many countries has a prominent, central place in the capital, the site of British Columbia's Government House is relatively unobtrusive within Victoria, giving it more the character of a private home. The property is owned by the Queen in Right of British Columbia; as with other Crown property, Government House is held in trust for future rulers and cannot be sold by the monarch except by her lieutenant governor with the proper advice and consent from the Executive Council of British Columbia.
The event, the Black Rod ceremony, is steeped in symbolism. Global News reports the Black Rod was created for the British Columbia legislature to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Black Rod is used in the legislature when the Queen or Lieutenant Governor is present. It has its origins in the British Parliament and is used in Commonwealth countries around the world.
More on the origin of Black Rod and its role in Parliament in England from Wikipedia:
'The office was created in 1350 by royal letters patent, though the current title dates from 1522. The position was adopted by other members of the Commonwealth when they adopted the British Westminster system. The title is derived from the staff of office, an ebony staff topped with a golden lion, which is the main symbol of the office's authority.
Black Rod is best known for his part in the ceremonies surrounding the State Opening of Parliament and the Throne speech. He summons the Commons to attend the speech and leads them to the Lords. As part of the ritual, as Black Rod approaches the doors to the chamber of the House of Commons to make his summons, they are slammed in his face. This is to symbolize the Commons' independence of the Sovereign. Black Rod then strikes the door three times with his staff, and is then admitted and issues the summons of the monarch to attend.
This ritual is derived from the attempt by King Charles I to arrest the Five Members in 1642, in what was seen as a breach of the constitution. This and prior actions of the King led to the Civil War. After that incident, the House of Commons has maintained its right to question the right of the monarch's representative to enter their chamber, although they cannot bar him from entering with lawful authority.'
It is adorned with three rings, representing the province, Canada and the link to the UK. Tonight Prince William added a fourth ring, engraved with eagle feathers and a canoe to symbolise First Nations in the Province.
The Canadian government describes installing the ring of reconciliation as "embodying the historic relationship of the Sovereign as the guardian and protector of the Aboriginal peoples and to symbolize the reconciliation of all cultures in British Columbia Reception Hosted by the Province of British Columbia".
The reception was attended by leaders from British Columbia's legislature, government and judiciary. Below, the Duchess mingling with guests.
Now, let's talk about Kate's look tonight! The Duchess looked stunning a 1950s style red gown by Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. It's the first time Kate has worn a piece by the British brand. Brought together by a shared love of Victoriana, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi launched Preen to instant success in 1996. Romantic but contemporary, their collections are worn by Kate Bosworth, Michelle Obama and Scarlett Johansson. In less than a decade the brand has gone from one boutique on London's Portobello Road to a fashion week and celebrity favourite.
The Finella Satin Midi Dress is crafted from heavyweight satin and has a classic fit-and-flare silhouette that's elevated with a wide asymmetric hemline, front pleated wrap, and box pleats at the skirt. The gown is in available in very limited sizing at Matches and Net-A-Porter for $1,715.
A closer look at the fabric.
The Finella Midi Dress is available in black at Net-A-Porter, Avenue 32 and Boutique 1.
The Duchess accessorised with the Queen's Maple Leaf Brooch.
Kate wore her Baroque Pearl Double Sided Earrings by Soru Jewellery. They are described: "18ct Yellow gold vermeil on sterling silver earrings for pierced ears. Hand crafted with iridescent baroque pearls edged with multi faceted Swarovski crystals. Slight natural variances may occur between colours, shapes and sizes of the gemstone."
It appears the Duchess is carrying the Jenny Packham 'Casa' clutch in red. The Duchess has the clutch in silver and carried it to the Spectre premiere last year. The £455 clutch is described: "A glamorous evening bag, this solid frame box clutch features angular enamel and a crystal encrusted clasp. Complete with a silk cotton lining, small inside pocket and a matching mirror."
A closer look at Kate's red pumps. It's possible Kate's wearing her Gianvito Rossi pumps - we'll update once we're sure.
A closer look at Kate's elegant side chignon.
This look was easily one of Kate's best to date in my opinion. The dress is perfection on her; the colour, 1950s style, the silhouette, the off-the-shoulder detailing the Duchess has come to favour. The look was beautifully polished off with an elegant chignon and red accessories, and Kate's Soru earrings added a chic finish to a very memorable look. Effortlessly regal. What are your thoughts?
- 12:35 p.m. - Travel to Kelowna for a public visit to UBC Okanagan and watch volleyball match.
- 2:10 p.m. - Visit 'A Taste of British Columbia'.
- 6:10 p.m. - Fly to Whitehorse, where they will meet Canadian Rangers.
- 6:40 p.m. - See a performance at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.
**We'll have more updates and photos as they become availabe**