Can you guess what I think the greatest part of the Royal visit to B.C. Canada was?
It wasn't the visit to the rightfully reopened lifeguard station in Vancouver.
It wasn't the visit to the Sheway program in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
It wasn't the visit to meet Syrian Refugees.
It wasn't the many First Nations leaders who declined their invitations to attend the B.C. Legislature's Black Rod ceremony that the Duke & Duchess were taking part in.
It WAS watching the exchange of consent and bodily autonomy between two people. It didn't matter that one of those people was the Prime Minister of Canada, and the other a Prince and heir to the throne. It didn't matter that one person was a child and one person was an adult.
I have seen this exchange described in the press as a "rebuff". Some journalists going on to project meaning about his on relations between Britain and Canada. Or the disrespect that comes from the script that was programmed into me as a child of "respect your elders".
I'm going to share what I saw. And I am purposefully going to refer to the two parties involved as "people" as opposed to use the labels of "child" and "adult".
What I saw, and celebrated was a person offering a physical exchange (High Five) to another person; the second person making their own choice as to whether to accept or not; and the first person offering a second option then accepting the second person's choice to decline again. Simple as that. End of story.
I hope this internationally-circulated video footage is first celebrated for the standard that Justin Trudeau sets, and then is lost in history because bodily autonomy becomes the norm in society.
I don't know why Prince George chose to decline Justin Trudeau's offer. I don't know his experience of bodily autonomy and consent. But I do hope that all children feel, learn and experience the freedom and safety to make such choices for themselves.
Charlotte Watson is an Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Practitioner who specializes in working with parents who struggle to feel good enough. She believes in the power of validation, empathy and meeting people where they are at with their feelings and experiences. That our feelings and emotions can help guide us understanding our values but they shouldn’t overwhelm or control us. She holds these at the cornerstones of her EFT Practice where she supports mums who are overwhelmed, struggling or triggered by past traumas, to be able to parent and make decisions with confidence and clarity, and just feel good enough. Visit her website at http://www.charlotterwatson.com and find her on Facebook.