To all my Canadian readers, apologies that this post is somewhat delayed. I decided to capture the recent visit of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall for Canada Day in a single post as opposed to a day-by-day, but as a result we lost the chance to mark the occasion on July 1st. So, Happy Canada Day and congratulations on the big 150.
For the unfamiliar, Canada Day commemorates the Constitution Act, 1867, which unified the three colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into “Canada” within the British Empire.
To mark the occasion Charles and Camilla flew out this past Thursday, June 29 and spent three days visiting Ontario, Nunavut and the Capital Region. This was Camilla’s fourth visit to Canada and Charles’s 18th.
The trip began with an official welcome in Iqaluit, Nunavut and a visit to the legislative assembly. The couple then broke off for Charles to attend an engagement on the preservation of the Inuit language, while Camilla participated in a Women and Wellness event on safeguarding women’s health in the North.
Charles then visited the Nunavut Research Institute, where he learned about various environmental initiatives underway, including a solar-powered greenhouse where community members grow produce. For those that followed his engagements in Italy and Romania, the engagement was very on-brand.
The day ended with a community celebration hosted by the Honourable Peter Taptuna, Premier of Nunavut attended by both Charles and Camilla.
The second day moved to Ontario and saw a slew of military-themed events, including a visit to the Canadian Forces Base Trenton and a walk through hangar displays before meeting with members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The couple met military personnel at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, who specialize in airlift and search and rescue, an issue likely close to their heart given the Duke of Cambridge’s chosen profession.
Additional engagements included events at the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre and meeting additional personnel involved in Search and Rescue.
A wreath was laid at the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, which calls to mind the recent dedication ceremony the Royal Family took part in in March of this year in London.
A final stop at Wellington Farmer’s Market in Prince Edward County allowed the couple to support “farm to table” initiatives, yet another pet cause of the Prince’s.
And finally, Canada Day itself, which was spent in Ottawa and Quebec. Day three began with Charles and Camilla opening up Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History, as well an inspection of the Guard.
Charles met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two men have certainly met before, most recently in France where they both attended an anniversary event for the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The couple were guests of honor at Canada Day celebrations held on Parliament Hill. During his speech, Trudeau noted:
“Canada is a country made strong not in spite of our differences but because of them. We don’t aspire to be a melting pot. Indeed, we know true strength and resilience flows through Canadian diversity. Ours is a land of original peoples and of newcomers. And our greatest pride is that you can come here from anywhere in the world, build a good life, and be part of our community.”
During his own speech, Charles praised Canada’s record on human rights and environmentalism, stating:
“We should be clear and proud that we are celebrating a country that others look to for example. An example of fairness and inclusion; of always striving to be better. Around the world Canada is recognised as a champion of human rights, as a peace-keeper, a responsible steward of the environment and natural resources, and as a powerful and consistent example of diversity and the power of inclusion.”
Later on in the day, Charles and Camilla also helped re-open the newly renovated National Arts Centre, and Charles carried out an engagement by visiting Shopify, highlighting the success of e-commerce businesses and supporting entrepreneurship.
Last and certainly not least, the couple unveiled The Queen’s Entrance at Rideau Hall before a farewell ceremony.
True to form, Charles will be back at it on Wednesday, July 5 with an engagement in London at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. There’s nothing on the books for Camilla at the moment, but we’ll no doubt see her during the Spanish state visit next week.