George and Charlotte do the talking as they meet and greet on royal tour

Prince George and Princess Charlotte have spoken their first words in public as they played with bubbles and balloons during a party staged in their honour.

The youngsters ran around with other children enjoying the attractions - from balloon sculptors to a petting zoo - as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched.

In touching family scenes William showed his son how to blow bubbles while Charlotte played with a rattle-type toy and later playfully sat on a dog and was delighted by a black and white rabbit.

George enjoyed a ride on a miniature pony and ran around squirting his father and sister with an orange bubble gun during the party in Victoria, British Columbia.

The 16-month-old princess, dressed in a Pepa & Co hand-smocked dress, ran off as soon as her mother put her down and was heard saying "pop'' at the balloons while proud father William joined in saying ''are we going to go pop?''.

She was over heard saying "da da" to the Duke who also clearly enjoyed the event.

Later when her brother George, aged three, spotted a balloon animal being made for his little sister he ran over to his mother and said ''but I want one, can I have one?''.

The garden of the official home of Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, had been transformed into a children's paradise for George and Charlotte and a group of children from military families.

Children's entertainer Paul Kilshaw, 53, from Victoria, made George and Charlotte balloon animals and received unusual requests from the prince - a spider and a volcano.

He added: "When I made him the spider he started to laugh and pushed it in my face then pushed it in dad's face.

"William said 'we try making balloons at home but it doesn't work'.

"At first George wasn't interested in getting one until Charlotte was getting one, then he was right over. He wanted what she had.

"George especially asked for a volcano and he was very proud to tell me all about volcanoes.

"When I started with the orange flames he was pleased to tell me 'and that's lava'.

"Charlotte asked for a flower, I think she said 'flower' because the other little girls were asking for flowers." 

Canadian warship commander Lucas Kenward and his fiancee Andrea Callaghan described how relaxed the event was and how their daughter Brielle, three, met Charlotte.

Miss Callaghan chatted with Kate, who was wearing a cream dress by See by Chloe.

"Charlotte was chewing on her fingers so I asked if she was teething and yes, it's very normal," she said.

"She talked about bath time and how she is always hungry."

Mr Kenward said about George: "He was definitely into the bubbles. It was much more intimate than I anticipated.

"It wasn't about the Duke and Duchess coming down the stairs. It didn't feel scripted at all."

Miss Callaghan added: "I think they're really enjoying their time here. They said it was fabulous."

The petting zoo was manned by teenage volunteers for the 4H club which teaches children about raising animals.

Emily, 15, said the princess' met two miniature ponies named TC and Honey.

"Charlotte bent down and was hugging Honey so much and hugging her neck, it was the sweetest most adorable thing ever," she said.

"She also petted TC a lot. Charlotte seemed to really love the miniature horses. I asked William if they had a pony for her at home and he said 'not yet'.

"George sat on Honey. William and Kate asked a lot of questions about the animals, if George could ride Honey and TC."

Volunteer Jennifer said Charlotte also met a goat called Bethany: "Charlotte was really liking petting Bethany's tail. They were all super nice. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

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