The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the newly renovated Canada House in London’s Trafalgar Square on Wednesday. They met and chatted with those responsible for the restoration of Canada House and officers from the Canadian National Defence liaison staff. The royals were taken on a personal tour by Canadian High Comissioner, Gordon Campbell. The white walls of the house are covered with works of art by Canadian artists, including a sculpture of a bison. The building itself was re-opened by the Queen last year after being modernised. The Prince was pleased to learn that the architectural integrity and historical heritage of the structure wasn’t compromised in the process.
The rooms in the house were given names of Canadian provinces and territories. The Prince and Duchess met and shook the hands of over 100 residents from these locations throughout these rooms. A man in the Manitoba Room showed the Prince several artefacts; one of which was a Winnie the Pooh teddy bear. He told the Prince the story of how a man reared a bear cub and named it after his home city, Winnepeg, or Winnie for short. He later said: “It’s not every day you meet your future king.” For decades, the Prince of Wales has showed a keen interest in organic farming and bee-keeping. He and the Duchess climbed to the roof of Canada House to see bee-keepers at work. “They are very enterprising,” he said as they kept their distance from the hives.
Their visit closed with a reception on the ground floor. The royal couple signed the guest book, taking up an entire page by writing “Charles” and “Camilla” in large script. Mr. Campbell said after the royal couple departed: “I think it went well,” “It was a special day for us.” Melissa Grelo, host of The Social, said after meeting the Prince: “He was lovely, warm, exactly as I thought he would be. Very passionate about what he does and that extends to his charitable works in Canada. He’s very disarming, very welcoming, just puts you straight at ease.”