How Prince George and Princess Charlotte Saved the Royal Tour

Bar Kate’s dresses, the Cambridges’ tour of Canada has scored few headlines, until Thursday and a public appearance by the royals’ two big draws—Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Chris Wattie/Reuters

Princess Charlotte was teething, Kate admitted, and Prince George had been shoehorned into his usual knee-high Victorian socks, but the royal children let their hair down and had a ball today as they took center stage on their first joint official appearance, at an event in Canada for servicemen and their families.

The two children—aged three and a half and 16 months respectively—were the star turn on a foreign tour that has been criticized in some quarters as dull and lacklustre.

The royal siblings joined the children of Canadian military families—all of whom have at least one parent on deployment overseas—for a morning party in the grounds of British Columbia's Government House, where the kids have been staying with their nanny while their parents have been engaged on a week-long tour of Canada.

George, three, and Charlotte, 16-months, have not been seen in public officially since the family touched down in Victoria airport on Saturday to start their first tour as a family—although the Cambridges kicked up a fuss after the local tourism office tweeted about a visit Prince George and Princess Charlotte made to a petting zoo on Tuesday with their nanny while their parents were on an engagement. The tweet was subsequently deleted.

Today’s event—at which George, Charlotte and 24 other kids were treated to a petting zoo, miniature ponies, balloon animals and a puppet show—drew comparisons with Prince George's first public engagement at a day care center in Australia when his parents were also on a foreign tour.

The Cambridge's tour of Canada has markedly failed to make much impact on the global media. However, the event today should provide plenty of grist for the mill of the British and international presses.

The children clearly enjoyed the party, and Charlotte provided entertainment for her parents when she attempted to lift up an entire balloon archway forming the entrance to a petting zoo.

But there were a few insights into royal life, other than that Charlotte addresses her father as ‘Dada’.

Fashion-watchers may note that Kate wore a cream dress by Chloe.

After their busy morning, the palace said the family would be spending the rest of the day engaged in ‘private’ activities.