With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving in Kelowna today as part of William and Kate’s 2016 Royal Tour, the Royal couple will visit UBC Okanagan and Mission Hill Family Estate winery.
Here, in no particular order, are some things to know.
• It’s going to be quick. The Royals will first appear at UBC Okanagan at 12:35 p.m. where they will help unveil a plaque celebrating the 10th anniversary of the university and view a large piece of indigenous art, commissioned to honour the partnership between UBC Okanagan and the Okanagan Nation Alliance.
After a volleyball demonstration, the Royals will depart for Mission Hill where they will arrive at 2:10 p.m this afternoon to view the vineyard and walk to the courtyard for a taste of BC Festival, viewing some agri-foood stations.
At 3:05 p.m. they will depart for the Kelowna Shell Aerocentre, the final stop on their visit.
•Parking and traffic are going to be outrageous. Traveling from UBCO to Mission Hill in the middle of a Kelowna day is stressful at best and a complete traffic snarl at worst. We’ll see how a Royal motorcade handles the Kelowna midday traffic. Parking and spots for the public at UBCO, the only event that is open to the public, are at a premium as well.
Non-parking permit holders are reminded that there is no excess parking available on campus. There are some undeveloped properties on Innovation Drive north of UBC Okanagan campus that have been made available by property owners at a cost of $10. These limited spaces will be serviced by a shuttle that will make their way to campus beginning at 8:15 a.m. and finishing at 3 pm.
• Kids are staying home. What’s the best policy when you are heading out for a wine tour in Kelowna? That’s right, leave the kids at home. The darling babies of the Royal couple are not making this leg of the trip as William and Kate will arrive in Kelowna sans Royal babies, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who rarely appear in public.
Princess Margaret was here to open Okanagan Lake bridge in 1958 and Princess Diana and Prince Charles arrived in Kelowna May 3, 1986, just a few days before the opening of Expo ’86.
An estimated 25,000 people turned out to see Charles and Diana.