The variety of Canadians on the long list of people Prince Charles is trying to help through his charity work seem to have little in common. Among them are sheep farmers, disadvantaged youth and ex-soldiers whose military service has ended.
At least over the next few days they will have the full attention of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall as they make a whistle stop tour of Canada, beginning on Sunday evening in Halifax and concluding Wednesday night in Winnipeg.
In an exclusive CBC interview with George Stroumboulopoulos ahead of the visit, Prince Charles said he “feels a great interest with everything that goes on in Canada”. He continued by saying: “fitting everything into the schedule when I visit Canada is getting more and more difficult…it gets busier and busier every time I am here because I have more organisations that I am involved with and take an interest in”.
Those who question the role of the monarchy may ask what possible relevance could a 65 year-old member of the Royal family have with the lives of ordinary people. Prince Charles, however, seems to think otherwise and feels he has a duty to help others. “There is an enormous amount that needs doing, there are masses of people who need help and encouragement”, the Prince is quoted as saying.
Some of his initiatives and interests organised under the four year-old Prince’s Charities Canada will be at the forefront of this trip to Canada, with the Military Resource Centre in Halifax, Bonshaw Provincial Park and Innovation Alley in Winnipeg being prime examples of these charities.
There are four areas of focus within the Prince’s Charities Canada, Matthew Rowe, manager of operations for the PCC, explains these focuses by stating: “there’s education and young people; responsible business, responsible enterprise; the built environment, which is urban planning, the communities we live in, heritage, that sort of thing, and global sustainability”.
Prince Charles’s charitable endeavours go back over 40 years and were first evolved out of his separation pay from the Royal Navy. They have grown to include 17 charities which Charles has personally founded and which raise £200 million annually.
Charles has been visiting Canada since 1970 and this latest tour will be his 17th visit there. However, his connection to the country goes back even further; there is a picture of Charles as a child wearing a Mountie suit that had been given to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on one of her many tours of Canada.
Prince’s Charities Canada will be launching a campaign for wool initiative when the Royal couple are at Hector Heritage Quay in Pictou on Monday. The initiative is to show wool as a sustainable fabric and as something that supports rural livelihoods and rural economies.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are also due to visit Pier 21 in Halifax, Prince Edward Island and also attend Victoria Day celebrations.