Prince Charles charms Assiniboia

It's not often that someone as famous as Prince Charles visits a prairie town. But that's exactly what happened in Assiniboia Friday. And, it caused quite a stir!


School principal Al Kessler says it was a big deal for Assiniboia.

"This is quite a momentous occasion. When you look at what's happened in our community over the last 20 or 30 years, this is by far the biggest event we've ever seen.

"Prime Minister Trudeau was here in the 1970s and that was a big event, but this is even bigger.

"He's an international figure, so the kids know that it's a moment in history and we're treating it as such. We're trying to tell them that they'll remember this day for the rest of their lives."

Those students were well-prepared for the royal visit. Lindsay Hepworth seems to have a good understanding of the protocol.

"You don't put your hand out. He has to address you first.

"Just don't be how you would be around your friends. Act like you would in church."

Charles arrives

The prince arrived by helicopter from the Moose Jaw air base at around 3:30. A thousand people turned out to see the future king. No one was more anxious to meet Prince Charles than Patricia Leatherdale.

"He had been briefed that our birthdays are exactly the same day. He remembered the fact that I actually was born two hours earlier than he was, and commented on that fact.

"And then, I introduced him to the students that I had there. I'm a teacher.

Leatherdale holds up a 30-centimetre likeness of the prince on his wedding day.

"He was quite interested in this little doll - one of my students was holding the doll - and he looked at it and said, 'Well, where did you get this?' And he sort of laughed.

"And then, before I knew it, he was on to someone else."

The prince raises eyebrows

After turning the sod for a new community centre, the prince went into a private meeting with local organic farmers. His royal highness is a fierce champion of organic farming, and he hasn't shied away from talking about on his trip to Saskatchewan.

That's raised the eyebrows of some reporters, including Juliette Bremner of the British television system - ITN. She points out that Saskatchewan is full of big, high-production farms that use genetically-modified organisms and growth hormones. "He's come along and he's said, 'I think that this probably isn't the right way to farm. I believe in small-scale, in working locally in little groups,' and he himself does that back at home in England.

"He has an organic farm. He has a company that makes organic products as well, which he sells to raise money for charity. And he would like to spread that message across the world.

"But he's come here to Canada where he does have some influence, and he's said it.

"Now, some people have been quite surprised by that, because normally, if he's going on official trips, he would try not to stir any controversy. And here, in a way, he's gone out of his way to tell people this is what he thinks should happen. And that's quite unusual."

The prince concluded his tour of Assiniboia with a visit to a rubber recycling plant.