Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Prince Charles and Camilla in Winnipeg: Bears, Ballet and Paper Planes

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, wrapped up their tour of Canada in Winnipeg Wednesday with bears, ballet and more.

Charles fed Hudson the polar bear as part of a positive reinforcement training session at the Assiniboine Park Zoo while Camilla toured the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Dr. Brian Joseph, the head of the Winnipeg zoo, chatted with Charles about the zoo and its conservation work after the prince fed Hudson through a fence.
Paper airplanes for Charles and Camilla
The Royals throw paper planes with PM to mark aerospace and Manitoba day... silly isn't but royal.
Prince Charles got an up-close meeting — and feeding — with Hudson the polar bear at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo today, the final day of his Canadian tour with wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The prince was escorted to Hudson's cage and allowed to slip the big bear some meat, using a pair of tongs to get it past the fence. There was a look of mock trepidation on the prince's face as he came close to Hudson, whose large paws drew a remark from Charles.
A zookeeper used the opportunity to explain how polar bears in the wild can pull prey from the water with one swipe.

Camilla toured Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Camilla toured the home of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in downtown Winnipeg during the afternoon.

She saw the ballet's wardrobe department and observed an outreach dance class for inner-city youth and an Explorability class for dancers with limited mobility.

Camilla also watched a pas de deux featuring two dancers from the ballet school's professional division.

"The royal family does a lot for charities through the Prince's Trust, et cetera, and Camilla is quite interested in the arts," said Armelle Evoy, who was hoping to catch a glimpse of Camilla.

"It's great she's visiting our world famous Royal Winnipeg Ballet," Evoy said.

The Duchess of Cornwall also visited Assiniboine Credit Union on McGregor Street to learn about finance programs that help community members.

Charles visits St. Boniface, Exchange

Meanwhile, Charles took part in the official opening of Place Bernadette Poirier, a facility in St. Boniface for people with mental health needs, then went to the Exchange District to tour Innovation Alley, a technology sector hub.

Ex-CFL lineman and current restaurant owner Obby Khan offered some lunch from his eatery, Shawarma Khan, to Prince Charles.

Khan had offered Charles one of his juices from his new restaurant, the Green Carrot Juice Company, but when the prince asked for hot tea — with milk — he spent several minutes running to various businesses in the Exchange District to secure some milk.

Khan said Charles was interested in hearing about his businesses, but he didn't expect him to taste much of the food. He was told that at many of these functions, the prince doesn't actually eat the food offered.

"I asked Scotland Yard on Monday, 'Can I just like tackle him and give him some food?' And they're like, 'No, you definitely cannot touch him,'" Khan said with a laugh.

"The joke went over fine. They all laughed at me and said, 'You're a big guy, but we have a lot more guys than just you.'"

In the evening, the royal pair will take part in an Order of Manitoba ceremony at the legislature, where the prince will make a speech at 7 p.m., before they leave Canada from 17 Wing Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg.

The couple will also meet with aboriginal leaders, who are expected to press Charles on treaty and environmental issues.

Canada's Aboriginal Peoples have had a special relationship with the Crown dating back to the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which has long been viewed as a bill of rights for indigenous people in this part of North America.

After arriving in a drizzle Tuesday night, the couple was whisked to a reception at Government House on the grounds of the Manitoba legislative building.

The guests there included hockey great Wayne Gretzky, the Olympic gold medal-winning curling team of Jennifer Jones, Premier Greg Selinger, and Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee and his wife, Anita Lee.

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