Jack Knox: Royal tour ends today in a capital flurry

They paid an animal-control guy to keep the geese from soiling the red carpet on the legislature lawn.

CFAX’s Alan Perry got a peek at a high-tech gizmo the cops could use to remotely seize control of a rogue drone, alter its flight path and crash it into the saltchuck.

article continues below

A BCAA specialist oversaw the installation of a car seat for Princess Charlotte.

Women attending the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the Cridge Centre today were asked to not wear hats or skirts, as Kate — who is scheduled to board a tall ship later in the day — will be wearing trousers.

Give the organizers of the royal visit credit: They pay attention to detail. The eight-day visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children has been a logistical marvel.

It all comes to an end this afternoon. Prince William and Kate will engage in one last flurry of stops around Victoria before boarding a float plane and flying out of town one last time.

The 3:40 p.m. departure ceremony at the Inner Harbour seaplane terminal, lasting just 10 minutes, will be the only real chance for most people to see the family (including Prince George and his little sister Charlotte).

Earlier stops at the Cridge Centre, at the Breakwater Café and Bistro and on the Sail and Life Training Society’s tall ship Pacific Grace won’t be open to the public. You can watch the duke and duchess sail away from Ogden Point about 11:45 a.m., though. They’ll dock at Ship Point about 12:45 before being whisked away to Government House.

There will be relatively minor traffic disruptions. Wharf Street will close between Broughton and Government from noon until 4 p.m. Wharf between Fort and Broughton and lower Broughton between Langley and Wharf will be for local traffic only. Don’t bother trying the lower Wharf Street parking lot until roughly 5 p.m.

The traffic tango will be nothing like it was last Saturday, when moving the duke and duchess, Justin Trudeau, Christy Clark, the Governor General and the lieutenant-governor and their various family members from Victoria airport was a security challenge that required a two-dozen-vehicle motorcade (not counting motorcycles). The chain of black SUVs on the tarmac looked like a scene from Narcos.

Likewise, with the duke and duchess spending six of their seven nights in Canada at Government House, their police escorts were kept hopping all week.

It was all part of an elaborate eight-day ballet choreographed by Kensington Palace, Heritage Canada and the B.C. and Yukon governments.

Little was left to chance, including the possibility of Prince William or Kate going for an unplanned slip-and-slide during their official welcome outside the parliament buildings. Jeff Krieger of Alternative Wildlife Solutions, a humane animal-control service, was hired by the province a couple of weeks ago to have his Jack Russell terrier, Pixie, dissuade geese from doing what geese do on the legislature lawn.

Of particular concern was the red carpet upon which the royals trod.

Royal visit organizers were worried that geese were going to come make a big mess, Krieger said.

In the days leading up to the royal arrival, Krieger would get the call as soon as the geese alighted, usually early in the morning (when, thankfully, few people were around).

He would release Pixie who, with a bell clanging away, would run the geese off the property.

Pixie is trained to chase away geese, not any other bird.

“The gulls weren’t bothered. The crows weren’t bothered.”

The geese got to the point where they would hear the bell (“It sounds like Christmas when she’s around”), see Krieger in his brightly coloured coat (unlike dogs, birds can see colours) and take off. No need to even let Pixie off the leash.

These are the lengths we go to when we want to put our best foot forward without having to wipe it off.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist


Find out what's happening in your community.

Most Popular