Prince Charles, Camilla coming to Canada
Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick stops planned
Prince Charles and wife Camilla will visit Canada in May, making stops in New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall were invited by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pay an official royal visit timed to coincide with Victoria Day, the day the Queen's birthday is celebrated in Canada.
The May 20-23 visit is part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and will focus on recognizing the service Canadians provide to their communities. Prince Charles will be presenting Diamond Jubilee medals during the trip, according to a press release from Clarence House.
Former prime minister Jean Chrétien will be Canada's representative to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Monday.
Established to honour the Queen's 60-year reign, the Diamond Jubilee Trust will raise funds to support a variety of charitable initiatives across the Commonwealth.
The trust is chaired by Sir John Major, former U.K. prime minister and will be managed by a board of trustees. A Commonwealth advisory group is currently being established and Chrétien will serve as the Canadian representative.
"Former prime minister Chrétien is uniquely qualified to serve as Canada's representative to the Diamond Jubilee Trust. Mr. Chrétien is a member of the Queen's prestigious Order of Merit. His relationship with Her Majesty, which spans over 40 years, includes six official royal tours he hosted during his time as prime minister," Harper said.
The theme of the 2012 royal tour is "For Queen and Country: Service to Canada — A Royal and a National Value."
"We are delighted that Their Royal Highnesses will join Canadians in celebrating the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's reign as Queen of Canada," James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, said in a statement.
"Occasions such as this are rare. The only other time Canada celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of a reigning king or queen was for Queen Victoria in 1897. We welcome the royal couple and look forward to showing them some of the best of what Canada has to offer."
The trip will cost less than $1 million, before security costs are factored in, Moore said. The minister said their last visit cost $1.76 million, while the Queen's 2010 visit cost $2.79 million and Prince William and Kate's tour last year cost $1.2 million.
The royals will be welcomed to Canada on Victoria Day, May 21, with a military ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick, where Prince Charles served in the 1970s.
The prince and his wife will also attend a public festival in Saint John to celebrate the Queen's official birthday in Canada before flying to Toronto for a traditional Victoria Day fireworks celebration over Lake Ontario.
The following day, Prince Charles will attend a meeting with chief executives who have participated in the Prince's charity program, Seeing is Believing, in Canada. The program brings business expertise and support to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities with particular focus on helping young people get training in order to find employment.
There will also be a meeting with leaders of the Assembly of First Nations in Toronto.
The Duchess of Cornwall will pay her first visit to the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada of which she has recently become colonel-in-chief. The regiment will join others drawn from across Canada for a military muster May 22 in Toronto celebrating both the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the bicentenary of the War of 1812.
The couple's tour will end in Regina, where they will help celebrate the centenary of the legislative building. They will also tour First Nations University and attend a concert by the Regina Symphony Orchestra, of which Prince Charles is a royal patron.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall last visited Canada in November 2009. Prince Charles has visited Canada on 15 previous occasions. This is Camilla’s second official visit to Canada.