After the morning’s military engagements, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall took a little time to indulge in causes that pertain to their personal interests.
After meeting military families and their support teams at the Military Family Resource Centre, His Royal Highness received a personal tour of the Halifax Public Gardens.
Filled with many exotic and semi-tropical species, and an elaborate collection of ornate Victorian garden artefacts (statues, urns, wrought iron gates, a bandstand and elegant fountains), these Gardens represent one of the finest surviving examples of Victorian Gardens in North America.
Amidst its 140 species of trees, some as old as Confederation, the 16-acre national historical landmark provides a lush downtown oasis. The heir to the throne made his contribution by planting a small oak sapling in the noble shadow of a great oak tree planted by his grandfather, King George VI in June 1939.
An avid gardener, The Prince experienced first-hand how valuable a resource these Gardens are to the study of heritage plants and landscape design.
The Duchess made her way across the harbour to Dartmouth meanwhile, for a private visit with families, supporters and partners of Alice Housing, a home which provides shelter and counselling to women and children victimised by domestic abuse. With 18 units, Alice Housing is one of the largest and oldest housing organizations of this type in Canada, and the largest in Atlantic Canada.
The royal couple later met up at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’Market, for an engagement which brilliantly encapsulated their passions for organic gardening, healthy eating and sustainable living.
On a walkabout through the longest running market in North America, The Prince and The Duchess met with some of the market’s over 250 innovative and unique vendors, including a multigenerational artisan business; sustainable farmers from Noggins Corner Farm; nationally celebrated youth entrepreneurs, Hope Blooms; entertaining butchers at Getaway Farms; and raw food bar and vegan grocer, Fruition.
A key feature of the market is its ecological design which employs sustainable design principles to minimize energy use through such renewable energy sources as wind, solar and ocean cooling.
Finally, the Royal Couple ended their ultra-busy morning interacting with war brides and Second World War veterans at Pier 21, from where over half a million military personnel departed for the war.
The high number of wartime romances prompted the federal government to provide new spouses with transportation to Canada and information about their adopted country.
The Canadian Museum of Immigration provided the ideal venue for the luncheon, as approximately 44,000 women, mostly from Great Britain, along with 22,000 children, landed here at Pier 21 between 1942 and 1948, as wives of Canadian servicemen stationed abroad during World War II. In the succeeding generation, the war brides collectively strengthened many Canadians’s emotional links with Britain.
The Museum, which is the only national museum in Atlantic Canada, is the only one of its kind, showcasing the vital role immigration has played in building the nation, and the contributions immigrants have made to Canada’s culture, economy and way of life.
This concludes the Halifax leg of the royal tour in Canada. Please keep an eye on Royal Central for more coverage on the tour as it moves on to Pictou for a celebration of Canada’s Celtic roots. See us also on Facebook and Twitter @RoyalCentral and #TRHCanada.