Prince Charles and Camilla finalize plans for Canadian tour
Stops will include visits to schools, brewery, Indigenous ceremonies and discussions with Ukrainian-Canadians
With Prince Charles and Camilla's trip to Canada only weeks away, some of the finer points of the royal couple's itinerary have been released.
The trip is part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration. The Department of Canadian Heritage says the details of the tour itinerary are subject to change.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will touch down in St. John's on May 17.
An official welcome ceremony will be held in the presence of Indigenous leaders at the Confederation Building, where the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly meets. Included in the ceremony will be traditional songs and stories from the province, a prayer in Inuktitut, Innu drumming and Mi'Kmaq music.
Prince Charles will offer remarks as part of the ceremony.
The couple will then visit Government House, the official residence of the province's Lieutenant Governor. The two will take part in a moment of reflection and prayer at the property's Heart Garden, planted in memory of all Indigenous children lost to the residential school system, those who survived and their families.
Charles will then meet with a representative from Campaign for Wool Canada — an initiative launched during the couple's 2014 trip to Canada meant to raise awareness about the natural benefits of wool and its sustainability. Similar initiatives have been launched in other countries.
He'll also participate in a knitting circle with a century-old non-profit organization, NONIA.
The couple will unveil a bronze marker at the start of the newly created Commonwealth Walkway at Government House.
The day will wrap up at Quidi Vidi Village with stops at the Quidi Vidi Village Artisan Studio, a walk by the harbour, chats with local residents, a visit to a micro-brewery and encounters with the province's food scene.
They'll then depart St. John's for Ottawa, where they'll be met and greeted by dignitaries.
On May 18, Charles will be invested as an extraordinary commander of the Order of Military Merit by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, alongside the vice-chief of the defence staff, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
It will mark the 50th anniversary of the order, created in 1972 to recognize distinctive merit and the exceptional service of those serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Soon after, at the National War Memorial, the royal duo will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and one minute of silence.
At a cathedral, they will then meet with members and organizations from the Canadian Ukrainian community and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. They will discuss Ukrainian culture and Canada's effort to support the people of the eastern European country.
The prince and duchess will visit an elementary school in Ottawa's Vanier neighbourhood to talk about the importance of literacy and talk to parents of students, many of whom are newcomers to the country.
Next, they'll attend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride, walk through the RCMP stables with the RCMP commissioner and witness a special performance.
In the mid-afternoon, Charles will visit participants of Prince's Trust Canada, which supports veterans and young people with a special focus on green jobs. He'll talk to a group of Canadian stakeholders about the importance of sustainable finance in combating climate change.
Wrapping up the afternoon, Charles will meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Rideau Hall.
In the evening, Charles will meet with the Governor General again before attending a reception.
On Thursday, the couple will say goodbye to Ottawa and head up to Yellowknife, N.W.T., where they'll be welcomed by dignitaries.
They'll visit Dettah, a Dene First Nation community near the capital city, where they'll be welcomed by Indigenous leaders from across the territory with an opening prayer, a drumming circle and a feeding-the-fire ceremony. Charles will then talk to local chiefs and elders while Camilla visits Kaw Tay Whee School to learn about its programming and efforts to preserve Indigenous languages.
The prince will meet with the Canadian Rangers to mark the organization's 75th anniversary.
Camilla will visit a transitional house that offers services to women and children fleeing violence.
At a meeting focusing on how climate change affects the Northwest Territories, Charles will talk with local experts on the Dettah Ice Road, which connects Yellowknife and Dettah during the colder months.
Finally, at the nearby heritage centre, the visiting royals will meet with local food producers to discuss innovative ways to overcome environmental challenges in the food industry of the North.
They'll also discuss Treaty 11, its history and legacy. The treaty was signed between First Nations and the Canadian government in the early 1920s.
They'll observe a demonstration of traditional Inuit sports and learn about crafts before heading to the Ceremonial Circle, a gathering place for the people of the territory. As part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebration marking the end of the visit, there will be a flag raising, a presentation of plants and flowers and a plaque unveiling. Prince Charles will also make remarks at this event.
The royal couple will then depart, seen off by dignitaries and a departure guard.