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1975: Declining a dance with Prince Charles

From the moment he was born at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 14, 1948, the world has known his name. He's Queen Elizabeth's eldest son, heir to the British throne, and his personal life has been making headlines for decades. So naturally, whenever the Prince of Wales visits Canada, the CBC is there.

"Canada's Cinderella is a liberated woman. She turned down the charming prince," jokes the host of this 1975 report from CBC Radio's As it Happens. While having a fun night out in Montreal the previous night, Prince Charles asked a young woman named Phyllis to dance. Surprising many onlookers, she said no. She was too tired. Richard Cleroux, a reporter from the Globe and Mail, just happened to be at the same restaurant and tells the whole amusing story in this clip.
• Prince Charles's visit to Canada in 1975 included stops in Ottawa, the Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Montreal.
  • Richard Cleroux wrote a story about the Phyllis incident for the Globe and Mail the next day, and it appeared on the front page.

• Cleroux also discusses a woman named Janet in this clip. He's referring to Janet Jenkins, who had a long-distance romance with Prince Charles for several years after they met in Montreal in 1975.

• Jenkins made international headlines in 2009 because Prince Charles had written a number of love letters to her, and she gave these letters to a woman who she thought was going to put them in a museum. Instead, the woman put the letters up for sale on eBay in March 2009.

• Most news stories reported that these letters were quite intimate and affectionate. In a 1976 letter, for example, Charles wrote: "I wish I could come roaring across the Atlantic to make you feel less lonely." He added that he would be coming to Canada for the Montreal Olympics. "I do hope you will be there because it would be glorious to have a chance of being alone with you for a moment."

Medium: Radio
Program: As It Happens
Broadcast Date: June 5, 1975
Guest(s): Richard Cléroux
Host: Barbara Frum, Alan Maitland
Duration: 6:08

Last updated: February 15, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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