Unsettling weather greeted The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall as they touched down at Halifax Stanfield International Airport last evening on the first leg of a four-day tour that will take them through Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
The royal couple was greeted by Canada’s Attorney General, The Honourable Peter MacKay, and two little sisters, Grace Elizabeth Lenihan, 3, and Molly Jane Lenihan, 9, from West Chezzetcook, N.S. who presented Camilla with a bouquet of white peonies with blush pink tulips and roses.
Nearly two dozen Canadian dignitaries joined the welcoming party, including Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.
After briefly shaking hands with some of the dignitaries, The Prince and his wife were then whisked away in a black limousine bearing the red Canadian Crown on its license plate.
The motorcade headed to Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor in downtown Halifax, where they were met by Canada’s Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston and his wife Sharon, as well as Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia J.J. Grant and his wife Joan.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had announced the appointment of The Prince of Wales to The Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, established under the Constitution Act, 1867.
Appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister, privy councillors serve as special advisors to the Government of Canada, and include all federal ministers, past and present, and Canadians who have distinguished themselves by making a noteworthy contribution to their country.
During a newly added private audience with The Governor-General, His Royal Highness was thus sworn in as the Council’s latest member near a picture of his grandfather, King George VI saying:
“I… do solemnly and sincerely swear that I shall be a true and faithful servant to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council of Canada.”
His Excellency David Johnston later tweeted, “I’m always grateful for my time with the Prince of Wales. We discussed our deep affection for our country.#RoyalTour”
Prince Charles and Camilla then attended an informal reception with the international, national and local press corps who will be joining them throughout the tour.
Day 2 of the royal tour begins this morning with an official welcoming and wreath-laying ceremony at the Grand Parade, a cenotaph just outside City Hall, and a visit to the Halifax and Region Military Family Resource Centre.
Prince Charles will attend a tree-planting ceremony at the Halifax Public Gardens, while The Duchess will visit the Northbrook Community Centre. The royal couple will meet up again at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, and tour the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
Their Royal Highness will then board a plane to Pictou County for a celebration of Celtic heritage before ending this busy day with fireworks to celebrate Victoria Day in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
“Sharon and I are delighted to have the opportunity this Victoria Day to welcome Their Royal Highnesses to Canada and to wish them well as they set out to visit communities across the country,” said the Governor General in anticipation of this day.
“Every year, Victoria Day reminds us of the enduring and close ties between Canada and the Royal Family, and even more so on this very special occasion.”
photo credits: courtesy of Canadian Heritage