Power To Be participant presents flowers to Her Royal Highness

A distant cheering signaled the impending arrival of the motorcade. As the procession of cars arrived, the cheering fans grew louder and the media trained their telephoto lenses on the unfolding scene. Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children, had arrived.

In the crowd of people waiting for a glimpse of the Royal Family was Daniel Brachman, an 11-year-old Power To Be participant. His program experiences include learning to indoor rock climb, paddling local waters and camping, and now thanks to community connections, he can also add interacting with the Royal Family as the official flower boy for their official farewell from Canada to his list.

Photo credit: Province of British Columbia / Creative Commons

Prince George was first to appear, waving both hands in excitement. He was followed by the Duke and Duchess and his sister, Princess Charlotte. After being greeting by local politicians and First Nations representatives at Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Duchess graciously received her flowers. She took a moment to meet and thank Dan before continuing with her family toward the awaiting seaplane.

Daniel seemed to take the whole experience in stride as he stood patiently waiting ready to present the Duchess of Cambridge a parting bouquet. Clearly this was not the first time the Power To Be participant had pushed his comfort zone.

“I was really excited to get to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. When I first saw Prince George, he was waving at me with both hands, but when he got closer and saw all the people, he got shy and didn’t feel like high fiving me or shaking hands,” Daniel said. “One thing I wish I had done is ask them a question but I didn’t because I had butterflies. I loved that I got to talk to the Duchess for a few moments.”

Photo credit: Province of British Columbia / Creative Commons

Among the politicians and dignitaries, Daniel’s mother Judy and twin sister Cate, looked on expectantly as the Royals wrapped up their recent whirlwind tour of British Columbia and the Yukon. The entire experience, from the preparations to seeing the Duke and Duchess and their children up close, was a fun experience for the whole family, Judy said.

“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Daniel and we are grateful to Power To Be for honouring him in this way,” she said. “I loved that Daniel reached out to Prince George to connect, and it was thrilling to see him introduce himself and present the bouquet to the Duchess. He’s got great spirit and he tries new things even if they’re difficult. It was a proud moment.”

At the core of Power To Be’s programs is a strong sense of community, made up of individuals who are accustomed to challenging themselves through new and often unique experiences. It is also a community that generates opportunity for its members and Dan’s meeting with the Royal family was no exception. The meeting was brief, however, the memories from the exchange are sure to last a lifetime.