St. Francis Xavier University Fine Art faculty member, who was selected by Prince Charles himself to serve as the official tour artist during the recent royal tour of Canada, is now finishing up his masterpieces. 

Bill Rogers rubbed shoulders with a real prince last month, travelling with the royal tour to Halifax, Pictou, Charlottetown and Winnipeg with Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

His job was to record the tour through the eyes of an artist.

Practice started by Queen Victoria

It's a practice started by Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales resurrected it in the mid-1980s. He pays the expenses for the tour artist and the completed works are presented to him for his private collection.

“On this recent tour of Canada, [His Royal Highness] decided to select his tour artist from the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, of which he is an honorary member, and selected myself from a number of the elected members after reviewing their work," Rogers said.

During the three-day tour, Rogers became a part of the royal staff. He travelled with with the royal party, stayed in the various hotels, and travelled on flights and in motorcades.

"The whole experience was very special and enjoyable and I was extremely honoured to be chosen for this role. I now have to complete the artwork started on the tour, which was a fast-paced whirlwind type of event, and send the work to HRH for his perusal," Rogers explained.

'Paint what you like'

There were no limitations or instructions on what to paint, but that Charles did tell him to "paint what you like."

Rogers says the biggest challenge was the fast-paced and short engagements. He will take the next few weeks to finish his paintings from reference sketches and photographs.