Prince Charles and Camilla have arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador, beginning their three-day Canadian tour in St. John’s.
The royal couple, who landed shortly before 1:30 p.m. NT on Tuesday, greeted the lieutenant governor. Judy Foote and other dignitaries after exiting the plane.
Charles and Camilla arrived soon after at the Confederation Building, where a crowd had gathered for the opening ceremony of the tour. They hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister Andrew Furey and others, and Charles took part in a military ceremony.
Subsequently, the Stadacona Band of Maritime Forces Atlantic played military renditions of Newfoundland and Labrador folk tunes such as Great Big Sea’s An ordinary day.
The welcome ceremony began with a prayer read in Innu-aimun by Elder Elizabeth Penashue before Inuk classical singer Deantha Edmunds sang the folk song Son of Labrador.
In his speech, Charles discussed Indigenous reconciliation, which should be the focus of the tour.
“I know that our visit here this week comes at an important time, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples across Canada pledge to honestly and openly reflect on the past and forge a new relationship for the future.
In her speech, Governor General Mary Simon also emphasized reconciliation.
“I encourage you to talk to Indigenous peoples, hear their stories, successes and solutions, and encourage you to learn the truth about our history, the good and the bad,” she said. “In this way, we will promote healing, understanding and respect.”
Innu Nation Grand Chief Etienne Rich, NunatuKavut President Todd Russell, Miawpukek First Nation Chief Mi’sel Joe and Qalipu First Nation Chief Brendan Mitchell also spoke with the royal couple and were present at the welcome ceremony.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about the historic relationship between Canada and the monarchy.
“Much of the endurance and stability of our democracy is tied to our Westminster parliamentary system, our constitutional monarchy and the Crown,” he said.
The ceremony also included addresses by Premier Andrew Furey and performances by Mi’kmaq musician Paul Pike, Newfoundland and Labrador folk group Rum Ragged and others.
After the event, Charles and Camilla went to the Heart Garden at Government House to participate in a ceremony honoring the Aboriginal children who attended residential schools in Labrador and northern Newfoundland. The ceremony involved Indigenous leaders and artists, as well as the Lieutenant Governor.
In his remarks, Foote said Government House’s Heart Garden is about “honouring memories and planting dreams”.
“People come here to reflect, but they also come to pay their respects,” she said.
Russell, president of the NunatuKavut Community Council, read a prayer during the ceremony.
“We recognize the lasting hurt and suffering that many individuals, families and communities continue to experience. We take the time today to reflect on what happened and why it happened,” he said. he declares.
Excitement for Royal Family fans
Linda Hennebury, who lives in Quidi Vidi, has pulled out all the stops for the royals’ arrival. She said her grandmother, who was from England, taught her about the royal family.
“Whenever there is a visit from one or another member of the royal family, I make it a habit to make sure I don’t miss them,” she said.
Hennebury was holding a picture of a young Queen Elizabeth II who she said had survived a house fire. Hennebury said she showed the picture to the Queen when she visited and would also show the picture to Charles.
“I will stand behind and let the prince know that I think of his mother very much and wish her so much well.”
Hennebury also painted an image of the village of Quidi Vidi which she plans to give to the couple, with a message for the Prince of Wales: “Charles, you look after your mother, and never forget you only have ‘a mother.”
Art and beer
Towards the end of their brief visit, Charles and Camilla met craft producers at Quidi Vidi Artisan Studios – and even took part in demonstrations with artists before strolling around the harbour.
The royals ended their visit with a stop that will be familiar to many who have visited St. John’s: Quidi Vidi Brewery.
Brewery owner Justin Fong called the visit a “great honour” and hinted the royal couple could serve their own beers.
“We’re going to see if we can teach a few people in the UK how to pour a pint,” Fong said earlier on Tuesday with a laugh.
Charles and Camilla will visit Ottawa on Wednesday and Yellowknife and Dettah, in the Northwest Territories, on Thursday.
Visit ‘will mean a lot’, says PM
This tour marks the 19th time Charles has visited Canada, and the first since a wave of republicanism swept through the Caribbean earlier this year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also visiting St. John’s on Tuesday morning, told reporters he didn’t hear any significant anti-monarchy sentiment from Canadians and said he welcomed the visit from Charles and Camilla.
“I know it will mean a lot to the people here,” Trudeau said. “As we look at the challenges facing our democratic institutions around the world, I think we can be very happy to have such a stable system.”
Trudeau dodged a direct question about whether he believed the royal family owed residential school survivors an apology, and instead explained how his government hoped the prince and duchess would use the trip as an opportunity to discuss the Indigenous reconciliation and to hear from “all kinds of Canadians from different backgrounds. »
But federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he supports a demand from Indigenous communities for an apology from the monarchy for its role in the residential school system.