September 28, 2016 - 11:48 AM
KAMLOOPS - When it came time for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to receive their gift from the people of B.C. during their visit to the Okanagan, Mike Miltimore of Kamloops handed William and Kate a handmade guitar and ukulele.
The musical gifts from Miltimore, who owns Riversong Guitars, were presented during the royal couple's stop at the Mission Hill Estate Family Estate winery in West Kelowna yesterday, Sept. 27.
“Even today, it’s surreal to think back on what happened yesterday,” he says. “Our gift was the final gift, the grand gift.”
The guitar was a special version of the Riversong’s artist series, made with Canadian wood, almost all from B.C. including rare Sitka Spruce and maple leaf inlays made out of maple wood. It’s the same model style the company built for Paul McCartney.
When Kate saw it, Miltimore says she was impressed with the craftsmanship.
“She was quite taken by the beauty of it and the maple leafs on the fretboard,” he says. “We did some customizing and put their names in it and the date.”
The ukulele was specially built for the occasion. Both are good representations of B.C., he says, as they combine the province's natural beauty with local innovation.
He had a short conversation about guitars with the Duke and Duchess. William plays the bass so Miltimore offered to teach the future King of England how to play guitar.
“You hear about them being really down to earth and easy to talk with,” he says. “All those reports, I’d concur with. You feel like the centre of whats going on.”
September has been a good month for Riversong Guitars, after the company received international recognition for its guitars and a worldwide patent for a unique guitar structure.
Go here for more about the royal vist to Kelowna.
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