Prince William, Kate and their children begin royal tour of Canada

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children landed in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, at the start of their eight-day visit to the largest Commonwealth realm. Once there, they will visit an outreach program helping vulnerable mothers battle drug and alcohol addiction.

The star of the Canadian royal tour is Princess Charlotte, on her first official visit.

William, holding his son George by the hand, and Kate, with daughter Charlotte in her arms, stepped off their plane at around 4:00 pm (2300 GMT).

On Saturday, Prince William and his wife will also lay a wreath at the cenotaph in front of the legislature to honour Canada's military service, and the prince will address Canadians.

The British royal couple arrived Sunday in Vancouver where several hundred fans gave them a raucous welcome.

A few of Canada's top officials greeted them in British Columbia.

"We feel very fortunate to have time to get to really know parts of this country that we did not get to visit in 2011 but of which I have very happy memories as a shy teenager", he said.

"It would have been overwhelming for them", she said.

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When they first arrived William and Kate were directed to the Cenotaph war memorial, where, in sombre silence, they listened as a bugler played the last post before a minute's silence was observed.

The royal couple drastically reduced their children's public appearances after complaining about aggressive and unsafe tactics paparazzi used to take pictures of Prince George.

Royal watchers were thrilled to meet the couple Saturday.

After the legislature event, the couple left for Government House, the family's home base for the royal tour that will see them five communities in British Columbia - Victoria, Vancouver, Haida Gwai, Bella Bella, and Kelowna as well as two Whitehorse and Carcross, Yukon.

Former teacher-turned politician Mr Trudeau was one of many leading figures who marked Charlotte's first birthday on May 2 by sending her a birthday gift - a snowsuit and a book, as well as making a 100,000-dollar (£54,000) donation to Immunise Canada on her behalf. Both appeared to be trying to shake hands with everyone they could.

William is the second in line to succeed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, who is also Canada's head of state.

The coast guard station may hold some special interest for Prince William, who works as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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