Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are traveling to Canada this week, where the British Crown heir aims to discuss two topics that are dear to him, climate change and indigenous peoples.
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The three-day visit, from May 17-19, comes at a delicate time of transition for the British monarchy, rocked on its last two overseas trips, as Queen Elizabeth, 96, who has reigned for 70 years, has canceled almost all public appearances over the past seven months due to health concerns.
Prince Charles replaces him more and more often. So last week he read on his behalf the speech from the throne, for the first time, during the solemn opening of parliament in London.
His trip to Canada, one of the 15 Commonwealth kingdoms whose sovereign is Queen Elizabeth, is part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations (70 years of reign).
Within three days, the 73-year-old prince and his wife, 74, will cross Canada from east to west, beginning their visit Tuesday to Saint John on the island of Newfoundland, and ending Thursday in the Northwest Territories . thousands of miles away, after a day in Ottawa on Wednesday.
In Saint-Jean de Terre-Neuve, the couple should especially take part in a “solemn moment of reflection and prayer” in memory of the thousands of Aboriginal children who died in boarding schools for the purpose of assimilation, and this for years 1990..
They will also visit artisans in the nearby village of Quidi Vidi, some of whom are housed in a recently renamed incubator from “Quidi Vidi village plantation” to “Quidi Vidi Artisan Studios” to avoid negative publicity after the term “plantation” is often. related to slavery.
In Ottawa, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will meet with members of the Ukrainian diaspora, and the prince will attend a panel discussion on “sustainable finance” in the fight against climate change, ahead of a formal dinner celebrating the Jubilee. .
On the 19th, he will meet again with members of the indigenous community in the Dettah, Northwest Territories, to discuss climate change and traditions. The Duchess will visit a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
Prince Charles said on Thursday he was looking forward to his 19th trip to Canada, visiting the Canadian High Commission in London with Camilla.
High Commissioner Ralph Goodale praised the importance of ties between the two countries and honored a queen of “exemplary dedication”.
But despite the deep love that two-thirds of Canadians have for a sovereign they have known all their lives, 51% want the end of the constitutional monarchy for future generations, according to a recent poll by Canadian institute Angus Reid.
At a time when Canada is rethinking its colonial past, 65% reject the idea of Charles becoming king and head of state of Canada, and 76% refuse to recognize Camilla as their queen.
The last two royal tours abroad, to celebrate the connection of the British monarchy to the Commonwealth as part of the Jubilee, have confirmed a growing concern.
In March, during a tour of the Caribbean, Prince William and his wife Kate were summoned to apologize for Britain’s slavery past, with a claim for ransom. They had canceled the first part of their tour, due to local protests.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said his country’s transition to republican rule, as Barbados did in November, was “inevitable” when they arrived.
In April, Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, faced the same criticism and demands, also canceling part of his Caribbean tour.
“I think we are seeing a change in the sea,” monarch historian Robert Lacey told AFP. “And it will take a serious thought for what will continue to function as a royal tour. And what activities are appropriate, and if in particular the military and ceremonial aspects of the visits are in line with the modern world. ”