Ahead of a royal tour to St. John's, there are conflicting feelings

There are lot of different opinions about the monarchy ahead of Prince Charles and Camilla's visit Tuesday to St. John's.

In advance of a royal visit, we asked people what they think of the monarchy

2 years ago
Duration 1:45
Featured VideoThe CBC's Raven Anderson and Mark Cumby surveyed opinion at Memorial University and in downtown St. John's

Prince Charles and Camilla will be in St. John's on Tuesday, the first stop in a Canadian tour that marks Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee. 

Charles has been to St. John's twice before. He and Camilla visited the city in 2009 during a relatively quiet tour that also included stops in the historic nearby towns of Cupids and Brigus. 

In 1983, however, he and Diana, then Princess of Wales, made quite the splash with a tour that received international attention, and which drew huge crowds at a variety of events. Newfoundland proudly trumpeted itself in the past as the first colony in the British Empire. 

Polling data suggest Canadians have evolving feelings about the monarchy in general, and Charles in particular. An Angus Reid poll in November found that many Canadians' interest in the monarch is tied directly to their feelings about the Queen. Only 34 per cent of respondents in that survey said they would support a constitutional monarchy once Charles becomes king. 

Ahead of Tuesday's visit, the CBC's Raven Anderson and Mark Cumby surveyed people in St. John's, and found a variety of opinions. 

"I don't think Newfoundlanders identify with British royalty very much anymore," said Lucas Barnes. 

Partricia McGarry Roberts said she is "not a staunch monarchist," but expects that some people will enjoy the visit. 

"Whether we like it or not, the royal family and the British are part of our history and we're going to be seeing a change soon. Queen Elizabeth is going to pass away and Prince Charles is something will have to get used to," she said. 

Roxanne Dias said she believes the monarchy is "kind of falling apart," and adds that her Indian heritage affects how she views things now that she lives in Canada. "For us, like, the British royalty has always been the British Raj — they were there, they did all their things. So … I never really loved them." 

Charles and Camilla's visit will include a sombre moment at the Heart Garden at Government House, to reflect on Indigenous children who died in residential schools. Several Indigenous groups in the province have been invited to the event. 

The couple will also visit Quidi Vidi, a tiny harbour in the heart of the city's east end, to meet with craft producers and the public. 

To see what people think of the monarchy today, click the player above. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now