Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are set to return to Canada in May, their first visit in five years, as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum jubilee.
Clarence House and the Governor General announced the three-day royal tour Monday morning.
The royal couple will travel to Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and the Ottawa region, they said. A detailed itinerary is expected at a later date.
The Queen marked 70 years as monarch in February.
“As we celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year, Whit and I will be delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Canada,” Gov. Gen. Mary Simon said in a statement.
“This visit is a chance for us to showcase the evolution of our country, our diverse and inclusive society, as well as the resilience of Indigenous communities.”
The Governor General met Charles and Camilla for the first time last month during Simon’s trip to London.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he looks forward to welcoming Charles and Camilla and “showing them some of the many reasons why we take pride in being Canadian.”
“During their visit, they will have the wonderful opportunity of seeing first-hand the diversity and kindness of Canadians and the beauty of our abundant natural landscapes that make us proud to call our country home,” he said in a statement.
This will be the 19th visit to Canada for the Prince of Wales and the fifth for the Duchess of Cornwall. Their most recent visit was in the summer of 2017, when they travelled to Iqaluit; Ottawa, Trenton and Wellington in Ontario; and Gatineau, Que.
The Canadian tour was announced just weeks after Prince William, the second in line to the throne, and his wife Kate carried out an eight-day tour in the Caribbean, a trip that saw them celebrated but also criticized as “tone deaf” for perpetuating images of Britain’s colonial rule.
During the March trip, protesters demanded an apology for the role Britain played in the enslavement of millions of Africans. William expressed “profound sorrow” for slavery in a speech in Jamaica but stopped short of offering an apology.
“Royal tours often build on previous tours, and there’s a strong emphasis on continuity. And what we saw being critiqued in the context of William and Katherine’s tour is some of that continuity appears old fashioned, to say the least in the 21st century,” said Carolyn Harris, a historian and royal commentator based in Toronto.
However, aside from building on iconic imagery from previous visits, there is also an emphasis on innovation and ensuring that royal tours engage with a variety of people – something that will likely be at the forefront in Charles and Camilla’s upcoming tour, she said.
“It’s likely we’re going to see engagement with young people, with Indigenous Peoples, that during this tour we’re going to see Charles and Camilla likely packing in a number of public engagements into quite a short period of time,” she said.
Prince Charles previously travelled to the Northwest Territories in 1970, accompanied by his parents and sister Princess Anne during his first trip to Canada, Harris said.
“That tour attracted a great deal of attention, as the royal family visited communities in the Northwest Territories and what is now Nunavut that had not received royal visits before,” she said.
It will be interesting to see how the prince engages with Canadians and Canadian history during the trip, she added, noting that one of his charities here has been working to preserve Indigenous languages.
Nathan Tidridge, an author and vice president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada, said Ottawa plays a key role in co-ordinating royal tours and will largely determine whether the prince “will be able to meet with in a meaningful way with Indigenous Peoples.”
He said it would be “shocking” if such meetings didn’t materialize.
“These are three very different regions with very different relationships with Indigenous Peoples, particularly the capital region, because it’s unceded territory,” he said. “I would imagine that there will be interactions, there would have to be.”
The Crown has a deep history, so “it becomes a touch point for all these really, really important conversations, and those conversations will be different, depending on which country or which nation that they’re in,” Tidridge said.
“So within Canada I think the real context here is in treaty relationships, the relationships with Indigenous Peoples. And so that would have been taken into consideration when the Canadian government invited the Prince of Wales to come.”
Banner image: Prince Charles is flanked by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as he sings an Irish song during a visit to the Irish Cultural Centre in west London, to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are set to return to Canada in May, their first visit in five years, as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum jubilee.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Arthur Edwards, Pool via AP
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2022.