Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Royals Visit Montreal

As you all must already know, the Royals are in town!

This past Saturday, July 2nd, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (better known as Will & Kate), graced Montreal with their presence, on the fourth day of a nine-day trip to Canada; their first international trip since their lavish London wedding in April.

Will and Kate arrive in Canada, greeted by Prime-minister Harper

During their visit to Montreal, by request, Will & Kate visited the CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital, the largest mother-child center in Canada, to visit the Neonatalogy Unit, the High-Risk Pregnancies Room and the Department of Hematology-Oncology. What a kind and thoughtful gesture!

Unfortunately, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge encountered a small but vocal group of protesters outside the hospital. Great Britain's 1759 Conquest of New France and a desire by some French to separate from Canada is still a sensitive issue in Quebec, and so protesters including members of the separatist group Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois, or Quebecker Resistance Network stood outside the hospital carrying signs that read ‘Parasites go home,’ ‘War Criminals,’ and ‘Your fortune came from the blood of our ancestors.’

This really upset me. These people, who do not directly have anything to do with the 1759 conquest, are willfully going to make the day of some very sick children, and people have the audacity to go and protest. I understand their right to their own opinions, and freedom of speech, however I do not agree with the timing or location of their protests. I feel it was in poor taste, and frankly, I’m embarrassed as a Montrealer. The protesters also dampened the excitement for those waiting outside in the hot sun, cheering for Will and Kate, and waiting to catch a just glimpse of the royal couple.

Regardless of the ruckus outside, the classy couple swiftly entered the hospital and enjoyed their visit with the children. Of course the staff and patients of Sainte-Justine were honored, and grateful to have them there. So sweet!

In fashion related news, Kate was looking classy and fabulous as always in a grey Kensington dress by Catherine Walker, one of the late Princess Diana’s favorite designers. In fact, Kate seems to really be following in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law in terms of fashion and being the “people’s princess”.

Katherine has a great, sensible style that can be translated to anyone, on any budget. We love that she often wears affordable dresses, and even recycles outfits. In fact, when she was in Ottawa for Canada day, she pulled the white Reiss dress she wore for her engagement photos out of the closet, and accessorized with a fabulous Lock & Co maple leaf fascinator. The Queen even let her borrow the maple leaf broach she wore on her first visit to Canada in 1951, while she was still a princess. What a nice Canadian touch!

Kate Middleton has quickly become a fashion icon, with women worldwide trying to get their hands on some of the pieces she owns. They even call Katherine’s influence on the fashion world The ‘Kate Effect’. I think the 'Kate Effect' is more than just a sense of fashion. Her classiness and philanthropic ways are also wonderful things women look to imitate when they watch Katherine Middleton, which we think makes her a positive role model for younger girls and women.