Prince Charles and Camilla spend the day in Ottawa
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla had a busy itinerary in Ottawa on Day 2 of their visit to Canada, running behind schedule for much of the day, but patient royal watchers were thrilled to meet them.
The royal tour, marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, saw the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in St. John’s, N.L. Tuesday. They arrived in Ottawa Tuesday night and spent Wednesday here. They will be in Yellowknife, N.W.T. on Thursday.
The Ottawa portion of the tour included a packed itinerary.
The first stop saw the Prince of Wales invested into the Order of Military Merit at Rideau Hall.
Charles and Camilla joined Governor General Mary Simon at the National War Memorial to pay tribute to Canadian veterans.
They met with members of the local Ukrainian community and took part in a traditional prayer service at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral on Byron Avenue.
Ukrainian Canadian Congress National Secretary Cassian Soltykevych told CTV News Ottawa ahead of the tour it’s nice to see the royals visit the local Ukrainian community.
"They’ll not only meet with the congress, but also other people in the community. It’s really showcasing to see what the Ottawa Ukrainian community has done.”
The royals then visited the ByWard Market for a walkabout with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.
That walkabout included a meeting with Serge Cleroux, a vendor in the market for 30 years, a visit to Sasloves meat market, and a visit to the BeaverTails stand to meet owner Grant Hooker. The couple was given a "Royal BeaverTails for Life" card.
"We told them that they don't need to go hungry if they're in Canada because we've got a lot of stores across the country," Hooker said. "But they would need to present two pieces of valid photo ID for the card to work. They laughed, and I was relieved that they did!"
The royal couple visited Assumption Elementary School in Vanier to promote youth literacy and highlight the experiences of newcomers to Canada.
“My mom told me that the Prince was coming to our school and I was really happy. My mom told me to put on my suit and my shoes,” said Duku Amule, a Grade 5 student.
Duku also had a special honour. He helped hold the door open for the Prince and Duchess. “The Prince and the Prince’s wife shook my hand and said, 'You look really handsome today.' and I said thank you.”
Many of the students at the school are new to Canada, including Florence Awoyemi and her brother Enoch. They came to Canada from Nigeria only a few years ago. “I was very excited, very nervous, but very excited. I have never met royalty or anyone famous before,” says Florence. “I did some research about the Queen's favourite colour and it's royal blue. Mine is forget-me-not blue, so I made sure to wear a blue dress today.”
Enoch says the day is still sinking in. “I just met royalty - and I have never met someone royal before so that was very special for me.”
Grade 4 student Anaya Silue was able to meet Prince Charles with her mom, Zoro Lou Sounde.
“To be here and to talk to the Prince, it was a very nice day!”
The royal visit at the school included a visit to a classroom, and to the gymnasium. The Duchess of Cornwall also read to a group of students and was there as a young boy, celebrating his birthday, selected a book from the library's book vending machine. The first book he selected got stuck as the cameras were rolling, but the second time was the charm.
After that, the couple took in a special performance of the RCMP Musical Ride, and met Mounties and toured the stable. Prince Charles has been an honorary RCMP commissioner since 2012. this was the first Musical Ride in two years, as the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the ceremony. Today, it was held in front of royalty.
Prince Charles met with young women who have settled in Canada after fleeing the recent conflict in Afghanistan, as well as representatives of the 30 Birds Foundation program that aided their resettlement. Following that, he also met Prince's Trust program participantsc, including veterans who have started their own businesses, young people who have overcome barriers to secure employment, and partners who make the impact possible.
The itinerary included a short break at Rideau Hall for the couple before the Prince attended a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He then took part in a climate change and sustainable finance roundtable with Trudeau.
"I've been trying to bring people from around the world together on sustainability for something dreadful like 40 years now," Prince Charles said. "What we do today fundamentally impacts the future of our children and grandchildren."
Prince Charles will hold bilateral talks with Governor General Mary Simon at Rideau Hall.
The couple's day in the capital will wrap up with a gala at Rideau Hall to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
In attendance at this soiree will be a mix of Canadians who “have dedicated their lives to serving their communities.”
This is Charles’s 19th visit to Canada and Camilla’s fifth. They were last in Canada in 2017 to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Katie Griffin, Leah Larocque, and Michael Woods.
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