Royals depart, leaving charmed fans and happy businesses in their wake

William and Kate’s visit to the Yukon wrapped up Wednesday with a walk down Main Street and a trip to Carcross.

William and Kate’s visit to the Yukon wrapped up Wednesday with a walk down Main Street and a trip to Carcross.

In Whitehorse, the couple visited MacBride Museum, and with the help of a telegraph operator, sent a telegraph message-turned tweet.

They made their way from there to Main Street where crowds of people were waiting for them.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a point of shaking hands with as many people as possible.

“And last but not least, the corner!” William said, as he reached the end of a line of fans.

In Carcross, Kha Shade Heni Andy Carvill greeted the royals and the Dakhka Khwaan Dancers welcomed the couple with a traditional dance.

Local children charmed the royals with their own songs and dances.

Carvill also took the opportunity to speak about the relationship between the First Nation and the Crown.

“It’s been 10 years we’ve been settled as a government and we’re still looking for that recognition, we still have obstacles before us,” he told the royals.

In an interview, Carvill said he remains optimistic progress will be made with the federal and territorial governments.

“We’re still having to get permission from other governments to use our own land to build houses, for instance,” he said.

Carvill said he wants the First Nation to be more involved in discussions about mining that takes place on their traditional territory, and to start a land use planning process for the area.

The visit itself, he said, went without a hitch, the result of hard work from Carcross residents.

Kate and William met with Singletrack to Success youth on Montana mountain.

They met them again at the bottom of the hill, the youth out-racing the motorcade-bound couple.

William made an unscripted stop by the White Pass & Yukon Route train — which Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip rode during a 1959 visit — sounding the steam whistle twice.

Happy business owners

The couple also caused a shock for some business owners.

Shelley MacDonald, a jeweller, was watching the royal celebrations from Iceland when she received a request from a customer for the same earrings Kate wore.

She called her sister, and the pair starting perusing the internet to find pictures of Kate to confirm whether the bronze oval-shaped earrings indeed came from her store.

Eventually she found a close-up, and there was no doubt: one of the most famous people on Earth was wearing earrings she made.

“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” she told the News Thursday evening.

It was past midnight in Iceland, but MacDonald was still working: since the news spread, she has received 240 orders, more than she’s ever received on her online store.

“I started tonight,” she said. “I ordered my supplies, I have my production line set up here.”

On top of the orders piling up in her inbox, she’s been bombarded with interview requests.

MacDonald became the youngest full-time goldsmith in the territory in 2013. She spends half the year in the territory making jewellery and the rest teaching goldsmithing in Iceland.

She still doesn’t know when the royals bought her earrings, even after she looked at her invoices.

“Someone is going to contact me I hope or I’ll reach out to Buckingham Palace.”

The royal couple also had a large pepperoni pizza from G&P Steakhouse and Pizza in Whitehorse, said dining room manager Marie-Johanne Beckley, who took the order.

The restaurant also fed many of the security staff and royal retinue.

The royals also had a chance to taste local food on Tuesday night during a show at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre.

Luke Legault, who sells mustard and barbecue sauce under the brand Wandering Bison, was in charge of catering for the reception.

For security reasons Legault couldn’t be in the room when the royals were there but the food was gone from the platter afterwards.

“As far as I understand they sure did have my food,” he said. “I’m going to count it as a win.”

He prepared five appetizers, including whiskey and birch syrup bacon (made with a locally raised pig), smoked salmon, single malt mushrooms with truffle and sage chicken, and Yukon beets roasted with raw fireweed honey and herbed goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto.

“They definitely got as high-end as I was able to give them with as many local products and influences as I could possibly muster together,” Legault said.

And it worked: he said Kensington Palace personnel commented on the quality of the food, and more generally, of the tour.

“One of the big things that continually came up was that the stuff is incredible,” Legault said. “It’s as good as anything offered to them in Vancouver and anywhere else they visited.”

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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