Prince Charles and Camilla visit Canada House ahead of tour
The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are preparing for a gruelling tour of Canada, which will see them travelling for more than 2,000 miles across the nation from May 16 to 19. One of their engagements will see the work done for Canada by Prince Charles being recognised and honoured.
During a meeting with Mary Simon, Canada’s Governor-General on May 18, the heir to the throne will be invested as an Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit.
The Canadian Order of Military Merit is the second-highest order administered by the Governor on behalf of the nation’s sovereign – the Queen.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the order, born to acknowledge distinctive merit and the exceptional service of those serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Soon after this new investiture for the Prince of Wales, Charles and Camilla will lay a wreath at the National War Museum in Ottawa.
Prince Charles will receive a new honorary title during his three-day tour of Canada next week
Children wished a ‘bon voyage’ to the royals at Canada House
Prince Charles already holds honorary military ranks in Canada, as he is the Vice-Admiral of the Canadian Navy as well as Lieutenant-General in both the nation’s Army and Air Force.
He also holds three military titles in New Zealand and an array of ranks in the UK – including Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy, Field Marshall in the British Army and Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
As the Queen’s firstborn, he will inherit from his mother the role of head of the armed forces in the UK and all the overseas realms when he accedes to the throne.
Prince Charles and Camilla’s trip to Canada is one of the several foreign tours undertaken this year to mark the Platinum Jubilee.
Prince Charles and Camilla at Canada House
This visit is particularly delicate, as it will also feature a “solemn moment of reflection and prayer” at Heart Garden on the grounds of Government House to remember and pay tribute to the indigenous victims of the residential school system in Canada.
Chris Fitzgerald, deputy private secretary to Prince Charles for foreign, commonwealth and development affairs, said: “Their Royal Highnesses will first take part in a solemn moment of reflection and prayer at the Heart Garden, on the grounds of Government House, with indigenous leaders and community members in the spirit of Reconciliation.
“Heart Gardens are in memory of all indigenous children who were lost to the residential school system, in recognition of those who survived, and the families of both.”
Ahead of their poignant tour, Charles and Camilla visited Canada House in Trafalgar Square, London, on May 12.
Prince Charles is the heir to the throne
Prince Charles, Prince William and Camilla at the State Opening of Parliament
There, they were welcomed by Ralph Goodale, Canada’s High Commissioner to Britain, and his wife Pamela, and showered with affection by children in the embassy who wished the pair “bon voyage”.
Speaking about the enduring links between Canada and the UK, Mr Goodale said: “Next week, Their Royal Highnesses are off to Canada for a Platinum royal visit, marking Her Majesty’s 70 amazing years of service to Canada.
“This visit to Canada House in London is the launch and a broad cross-section of Canadians in the royal kingdom are here, Your Royal Highnesses, to see you off on your journey, to wish you well, to pay tribute to Her Majesty, and to say ‘thank you’ for her unparalleled dedication.”
He added: “It is typical of this wonderful sovereign that she wants her Jubilee to be a celebration of the accomplishments and the service of others.
Royal men and their military honours
“In our case, that means recognising what so many amazing Canadians have built and done and contributed over the past 70 years, from youth and business people, professionals, researchers, academics, scientists, artists, performers and public servants – we have a great many great Canadians with us today.”
During their visit, the royals also met Canadian artists, entrepreneurs, academics and politicians who chose to make the UK their home.
Charles and Camilla, lovers of the arts, were also treated to a performance from the musical Come From Away, which is based on the true story about how a small community on Canada’s east coast coped when dozens of planes were diverted to its airport in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Prince Charles, Camilla and Princess Anne attending a garden party on Wednesday
This engagement came during a busy week for the Prince of Wales and Duchess.
On May 10, Charles delivered for the first time the Queen’s Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in lieu of his mother, unable to attend due to mobility issues.
The Prince of Wales stepped in for his mother also on May 11, when he attended with Camilla and Princess Anne the first garden party held at Buckingham Palace since the beginning of the pandemic.