09/12/2014 08:08 EDT | Updated 11/12/2014 05:59 EST

Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex begin B.C. tour

Prince Edward received an impromptu lecture on B.C. labour relations Friday as he and his wife kicked off a five-day tour of the province.

A crowd of students watched the Prince and Sophie Rhys-Jones, the earl and countess of Wessex, inspect a naval guard of honour as the Lieutenant Governor welcomed the pair to Government house.

Prince Edward, the Queen's youngest son, asked the children when school would start again.

"We don't know yet, the teachers are still on strike," answered one girl.

"It also ended school early as well," said another.

The royal couple will tour BC between Sept. 12 and 16.

They will participate in various activities in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna, as well as visit the Ditidaht and 'Namgis First Nations on Vancouver Island.

Highlights of the visit include presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh gold awards in Victoria and Kelowna, and a walk on a portion of the Trans-Canada Trail through North Vancouver.

The royal couple will also open a new library on the Ditidaht First Nation near Duncan, and travel to the 'Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay for a range of community events.

Following the B.C. program, the earl visits Saskatchewan between Sept. 17 and 19, while the countess travels to northern Ontario.