Monday, May 19, 2014

Canada Welcomes Royals Prince Charles and Camilla

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (second left), is presented with a bouquet of flowers by Grace Elizabeth Lenihan, 3, and Molly Jane Lenihan, 9, as she and Prince Charles (left) arrive in Halifax. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Canada on Sunday to a low-key welcome from a several Canadian dignitaries on the first leg of a four-day tour.

Charles and Camilla, wearing a cream and gold tweed coat with black gloves and carrying a Canadian black clutch bag given to her by a Canadian friend, were greeted by nearly two dozen dignitaries.

They included federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.

The royal couple spent a few moments shaking hands and Camilla was presented with a bouquet of pink and white flowers from Grace Elizabeth Lenihan, 3, and Molly Jane Lenihan,9, who are sisters from West Chezzetcook, N.S.

Both girls were wearing purple dresses with purple flowers in their hair.

The royal couple were then whisked away to Government House in downtown Halifax. They were to meet with Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant and attend a reception with local, national and international journalists who will trail the couple through three provinces this week.

It's Charles' first visit to Nova Scotia since 1983 and the first for the Duchess of Cornwall.

Welcome ceremony set for Monday

An official welcome ceremony will be held Monday outside Halifax's city hall, where Charles will make the first of four speeches planned for the tour, which includes stops in Pictou, N.S., the P.E.I. communities of Charlottetown, Bonshaw and Cornwall, as well as Winnipeg.

The theme for the tour — the couple's second Canadian trip since 2012 — is commemorating Canada's past and looking ahead to the future.

Later Monday, the Prince of Wales will plant an English oak tree in the city's Public Gardens, a tradition started 75 years ago by his grandfather King George VI.

The couple will visit historic Pier 21 and the Canadian Museum of Immigration, where they'll meet war brides and veterans of the Second World War. They'll also travel to the community of Pictou to learn about the province's Celtic roots before  boarding an aircraft Monday evening bound for Charlottetown.

Charles to feed polar bear

While in P.E.I.'s capital on Tuesday, the couple will visit the legislature and attend a youth parliament debate. Charles will also be honoured with a medal recognizing his contributions to Canada and deliver his second speech of the tour.

They'll then tour the city's arts centre guided by an actress playing Anne of Green Gables before flying to Winnipeg, where they will meet with children and learn about another famous cultural export: Winnie the Pooh.

Charles will also have the opportunity to feed a polar bear at a conservation facility in the Manitoba city — the last stop of their visit.

The heir to the throne will deliver two more speeches in Winnipeg before he and Camilla close the book on another royal tour.

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