Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are set to embark on a three-day tour of Canada this week that will focus on Aboriginal reconciliation and climate change – and on reaching out to a Canadian public that is increasingly suspicious of the monarchy.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will stop in St John’s, New L, Ottawa and the Yellowknife region during a visit that will “highlight learning from Canada’s indigenous peoples as well as focus on working with businesses to find a more sustainable way to live with global warming,” according to Clarence House, the official residence For a couple in London.
In line with these priorities, they will attend a reconciliation event in St. John’s and visit Dita’s First Nation community in Yellowknife. There will also be a visit to the Dita Glacier as well as discussions about the importance of sustainable finance in building a zero-carbon economy.
The visit, which begins on Tuesday, will be Prince Charles’s 19th to Canada and Camilla’s fifth.
It’s a delightful occasion for royal fans, who are looking forward to the couple’s first visit to Canada since 2017. Robert Finch, president of the Royal Canadian Association, believes the tour in honor of the Queen’s platinum jubilee – who spanned 70 years on the throne – could not come at a better time.
“We have just come out of a pandemic that has taken a heavy toll on us all, and we are in the midst of more economic and geopolitical uncertainty, what do you have,” he said in a phone interview. “So it’s good to have those things that are kind of positive and things that celebrate and bring people together.”
Besides more serious meetings, the trip includes plenty of pomp and photoshoot, including visits to local businesses, jubilee festivities and viewing of the RCMP Musical Tour – a show on horseback.
Both supporters and critics of the monarchy say the visit will be a test of Charles’ ability to win over Canadian public opinion at a time of growing scrutiny of the monarchy.
Supporting the overthrow of the monarchy: opinion polls
An online survey conducted by Angus Reed in late April of a representative sample of 1,607 Canadian adults showed that just over half – 51 percent – felt the country should not remain a monarchy in future generations, compared to 26 percent who thought it should.
While the Queen was still viewed favorably by the majority of respondents, only 29 percent viewed Charles this way, and only 34 percent supported maintaining a constitutional monarchy under his rule.
There is no margin of error for online polls, but Angus Reed said that for comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size would be accurate to within 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Finch doesn’t put much in the polls that suggest Canadians are ready to abandon the monarchy, in part due to the way the questions are phrased.
“The Republic is not, in my opinion, a winning proposition, and if it were, one of the main political parties in the country would have adopted it,” he said.
But he said this tour could be one of the most important royal visits ever – partly because of the focus on reconciliation between the natives but also because of a chance for Charles to cement his role as future king at a time when his aging mother is on the cutting edge. Back.
He admitted that Charles “has something to do” to appeal to the Canadian public, in large part because his mother is so likable. “It’s going to be hard to follow,” he said.
Patrick Tellon, a law professor at Laval University in Quebec City who has previously challenged British succession laws in court, said the visit comes as Canada and the United Kingdom prepare to eventually pass on Charles as king.
That moment, he said, “is likely to put the conversation about the nature of our institutions, and the choice of monarchy, at the fore” in Canada.
Taillon said that while Canadians once viewed the monarchy as part of their identity – which distinguishes them from Americans – this is increasingly no longer the case.
He said that the recent royal tour of the Caribbean by Prince William and his wife Kate, which has drawn criticism for perpetuating images of British colonial rule, as well as allegations of abuse described by Meghan Markle, who and her husband Prince Harry, after retreating from royal duties in 2020, showed The institution failed to evolve with the times.
While he acknowledges that the Canadian constitution is difficult to change, he said change is inevitable, sooner or later. He added that Quebec, where anti-Crown sentiment is the fiercest, has been ready to move on for a long time.
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on May 15, 2022.