It’s hard keeping a secret under your hat but École Cobble Hill did just that as they planned for their performance before Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, in Victoria on Monday, Sept. 26.
Twenty-four of the school’s Grade 4 and 5 students had been asked by the office of Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon to perform their song, “C’est Mon Canada”.
The tune was the school’s entry in Guichon’s Sing Me a Song contest last school year and the children won in their age category, earning them a school visit by the lieutenant governor herself to present the prize.
That happy occasion led to the request to come to Government House in Victoria to meet the royals.
“The Lieutenant Governor’s office called us about three weeks ago and said, ‘We have very special guests coming. Would you like to perform your song?’ They said it would be the evening of the reception offered by the Government of British Columbia,” Lise Page, principal of École Cobble Hill, said Wednesday.
It was a glittering event, with 200 B.C. notables from many fields in the crowd.
Page said Guichon’s people told her they were being asked to sing because the lieutenant governor had enjoyed the song, with its bilingual component, so much.
“They were very proud to ask us if we would participate, but to please keep it confidential,” she said. “It was a great event for the kids. They all wore black, with their school t-shirts.”
The performance was especially fun, because it was a really formal, black-tie event, she said.
“We got on stage and the duchess and the prince were right beside us. The kids started in singing their song, and then in the middle of it, there’s a rap. The crowd started laughing and they all started clapping with the kids and so the kids got even more into it. It was really neat, and brought a fun atmosphere to the room, which had been very formal. It was really enjoyable.”
Visiting Government House under such circumstances was a special treat.
“The building itself was pretty impressive and then there was all the security, plus the military people in uniform with their medals. Afterwards, the prince and the duchess came onstage and the governor general was there with his wife, as well as Judith Guichon. They all came and thanked the kids and then they took some pictures. It was a really special night,” Page said.