In Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s welcoming speech he quoted what Prince Charles said on an earlier visit: “Every time I come to Canada … a little more of Canada seeps into my bloodstream – and from there straight to my heart.”
Alas, that was what Charles was going to say a few minutes later in his own speech. Rosie DiManno got straight to the point: “This isn’t rocket science. When touring royals deliver prepared comments on these gigs, they routinely submit the speeches in advance for vetting, lest they put their foot in it and say something controversial or actually worth quoting.” It’s hard to fathom how Harper and his staff didn’t know what Prince Charles was going to say. It was either a massive screw-up in the PMO or some sort of nasty political jab at a person whose constitutional role as heir to the throne means that he has to just sit and take it.
On a more conciliatory note, Camilla was wearing a large diamond Maple Leaf pin on her coat that looked like the one originally given to Charles’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, during her royal tour of Canada in 1939.
Today’s visits focus on history—the first English settlement in Newfoundland at Cupids as well as historic Brigus—and youth business, two big interests of Prince Charles. This afternoon he’s meeting with Memorial University’s Students in Free Enterprise (last year they were Canadian champs). Their work dovetails perfectly with his Prince’s Trust, which gives financial and practical support to young people, especially the unemployed, who need help in education, training and business skills. The charity has helped more than 600,000 since 1976.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 (Cupids, Brigus and St John’s)
Their Royal Highnesses visit Cupids, the first English settlement in Canada, celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2010. Following a tour of the Cupids Cove Plantation Archaeological Site, Their Royal Highnesses proceed to the United Church for remarks and musical performances. Their Royal Highnesses unveil a plaque commemorating the Royal Visit for the new Cupids Legacy and Interpretation Centre. The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Danny Williams, and other dignitaries will join Their Royal Highnesses.
Their Royal Highnesses visit Brigus, a small community known for its commitment to cultural heritage and architectural preservation. They will see St. George’s Church, the church garden and Brigus Harbour. They will visit John Leamon Stone Barn Museum for a short presentation on the history of the town, architecture and story of the port.
Their Royal Highnesses will continue on foot to Hawthorne Cottage, home of the world-renowned Arctic explorer and mariner Captain Bob Bartlett.
His Royal Highness visits the Stella Burry Community Services Centre in St. John’s. He will attend the opening of the new housing project at Rawlins Cross—the only building opening His Royal Highness will conduct on this visit— and unveil a plaque commemorating the opening and the Royal Visit.
His Royal Highness attends a demonstration and a discussion on sustainable fishing at the Marine Institute.
His Royal Highness meets with Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). These award-winning students will present a series of their entrepreneurial projects to The Prince at Memorial University.
Their Royal Highnesses join a reception co-hosted by the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, His Honour, the Honourable John C. Crosbie, and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Danny Williams at the Rooms Provincial Archives, Art Gallery & Museum.