Tuesday 6 December 2016

Kate Middleton goes for high street style as royal couple visit Canadian rainforest

Tony Jones

Published 26/09/2016 | 22:39

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light

Prince William and Kate were left deluged by downpours when they visited a Canadian rainforest - to inaugurate the natural wonder into a new initiative.

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The British royal couple were forced to change some of their programme when forecast torrential rain swamped the rural settlement of Bella Bella in British Columbia - which has direct links to the British crown.

But they received a rapturous welcome from the small Heiltsuk First Nation community, whose claim to the lands in the area was recognised by Queen Victoria in the form of a staff, presented to the people by a representative of the monarch.

In a community hall or "big house" filled with the Heiltsuk people, William and Kate were honoured as "people of standing" - with important men known as Hemas and the women Umaks.

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light

For her day in the Canadian wilderness Kate wore a Holland and Holland jacket and Zara jeans and, in acknowledgement of her hosts, donned earrings by Canadian designer Pippa Small.

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Lining an open space in the community centre's hall were around 12 hereditary priests in their colourful ceremonial costumes with long flowing headdresses made from animal pelts.

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light

The pair were greeted by each in turn before a welcoming dance was performed and musicians played drums.

A spokesman for the community said: "The welcoming dance performed was for royalty and is seen on very special occasions. It is performed every time there's anybody the community want to welcome and bring into the community as a sign of good faith."

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light

Later the royal couple will travel to nearby McLoughlin Bay, where the rainforest will be officially committed to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy during a brief ceremony.

The royal visitors will also have an opportunity to see one of the new walking trails being constructed in the area.

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a cultural sharing ceremony at the Wawiskas Community Hall during their eight day royal tour to Canada in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Light

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