Queen Elizabeth smiles as she arrives on Centre Court at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London on June 24. ((Toby Melville/Reuters))

Nova Scotians are getting ready to welcome Queen Elizabeth to Halifax, where she kicks off a nine-day tour of Canada on Monday.

The Queen and Prince Philip will receive an official welcome at the Garrison Grounds near the Halifax Citadel in the afternoon. They will take part in a Mi'kmaq cultural event and celebrate the Canadian navy's 100th anniversary before leaving on Wednesday.

Cassidy McCarthy, 11, has been practising her curtsey. She will present the Queen with flowers on the monarch's final day in Halifax.

"This is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so, like, wow! I'm nervous," said McCarthy.

McCarthy was chosen for encouraging worldwide support for people with epilepsy like herself. Two years ago, McCarthy encouraged students to wear purple, the international colour of epilepsy, on March 26. Purple Day has since caught on around the world.

CBC News will have extensive live coverage of the Queen's visit.

Peter Mansbridge, Alison Smith and Tom Murphy host a special on the CBC main network and CBC News Network starting at 2 p.m. AT.

Stephanie Domet will also host special coverage on CBC Radio One.

Helen Wyman doesn't have a date with the Queen. But the head of the monarchist league in Nova Scotia is ready for the call.

"I think I would be shocked," she said with a laugh. "I know I will always go and see her."

Wyman has seen the Queen every time she stopped in Halifax, starting in 1959. She even went to England for the coronation.

Businesses ready

Various street closures will keep cars away from Geoff McLean's furniture store. But he's still ready for patrons — even royalty.

"If she decides to stop in I suppose we could get a little overwhelmed. But I've got the chair for her — the white one with the beautiful blue velvet on it," said McLean, who runs Project 9 on Dresden Row.

At a nearby party supply store, even the sock monkeys are dressed for the occasion.

"We have some crowns that we are to put on the monkeys in the window. So at least they'll have their crowns on for the Queen," said Amy MacLaren, an employee of Coco Bean.

Despite the prospect of traffic mayhem, she said having the Queen nearby will be good for business.

"It'll definitely bring a lot of people around, just walking the streets hopefully and finding out the different places that are around here," said MacLaren.

Apology first: Mi'kmaq historian

But some people aren't as putting out the welcome mat.

Mi'kmaq historian Dan Paul said he would only take part in a royal visit if it included an apology.

The Mi'kmaq fought the British for more than 100 years, and a burying of the hatchet ceremony was held in 1761. But Paul said the British leaders treated his people like slaves after that and he sees the Queen as a symbol of that oppression. 

"From that point on they lived in dire poverty. So really I can't see any benefits from colonization by England or any other European power," said Paul.

Acadian leader Victor Tetrault is upset that the story of deportation by the British has been left out of the media guide prepared for the royal tour. He said it should be a larger document that includes the history of Acadie.

A government spokesperson said only information directly related to royal tour events in Nova Scotia is in the guide, and there are no plans for the Queen to visit any Acadian sites.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will leave Halifax on Wednesday to spend Canada Day in Ottawa. They will also visit Winnipeg, Waterloo and Toronto during their nine-day tour.