On 1st July 2017, Canada will be celebrating their 150th birthday and a Royal tour is rumoured to be in the works.
Back in November 2015, Canadian Heritage brought the prospect up in a briefing note for Heritage Minister Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly that went over Canada Day 2017 celebration plans on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the nation’s capital.
“Canada Day 2017 presents an opportunity to host a royal tour,” officials write in the briefing note “It is customary for members of the Royal Family who are in Canada on July 1 to join Canadians on Parliament Hill to celebrate the day.”
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Minister Joly said that the details on any Royal Tour in 2017 have yet to be decided. Yet Robert Finch, Dominion chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada noted that it would be rare that a member of the Royal Family would miss out on such a significant occasion: “I would be surprised and really let down if there was not a prominent member of the Royal Family on Parliament Hill on July 1, 2017.”
Despite Queen Elizabeth turning 90 this year, Finch suggested that she could make the cross-Atlantic trip bring her first visit since 2010.
“Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I think the natural or obvious royal for 2017 would be the Queen herself,
“She was here for the Centennial in 1967 and was here for Canada 125. It’s the obvious choice.”
Finch added on that no one would expect the Monarch to take on a cross-country tour, but just a quick visit to attend Canada Day celebrations: “It would be a great celebration.”
If the Queen is unable to come, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall would be the likely alternative having toured Canada in 2012 and 2014. Finch said: “It might be the perfect opportunity to really cement Charles’ role (as heir to the throne).”
Lastly adding in his opinion that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who had a very successful Canadian tour in 2011 right after their nuptials: “That would be a look to the future,”
However, he feels that there is a “realistic possibility” that Prince William and Catherine might tour Canada later this year, which would rule them out in 2017. Although he admitted he wasn’t sure a 2016 tour was entirely accurate, “but I had it from more than one person, both in Ottawa and in London.”
The briefing note speaks of the “high expectations” Canadians have for the 2017 Parliament Hill celebrations, which will be the focus of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
A typical Canada day in the capital brings in about 350,000 people and costs around $3.5 million. A further $1.5 million is distributed by the government for other cities around the province of Ontario.
Those numbers are expected to be much higher in 2017 with Ottawa celebration complemented by “anchor events” taking place in 18 cities throughout 13 province and territory capitals and five major urban centres.
“Competition for high-profile talent, sponsors and partners (including broadcasters) will be high in the coming months as planning for other major celebrations across the country is already underway for 2017,” officials warn.
Photo Credit: Government of Alberta via Flickr