A regal day off, kind of

After a meeting with Michael Ignatieff, the Queen and Philip get to relax

With the first half of the nine-day tour over, the royal couple are taking Friday off. Well, almost. The Queen has a short meeting with the leader of the official Opposition, Michael Ignatieff, and then has to spend time going through her “boxes,” those leather cases stuffed with official government documents that she diligently plows through every day. Still, after the huge crowds that greeted them on Parliament Hill and throughout downtown Ottawa for Canada Day, getting a break, however short, from always being “on” public display must be refreshing.

The second half of the trip promises to be even busier than the first. There is a jam-packed trip to Winnipeg, a Sunday spent at church and the races—organizers moved the Queen’s Plate just for Her Majesty—then a short flight to Waterloo and finally an official dinner with the PM and other dignitaries and a huge farewell celebration at the Ontario legislature.