Britain's Prince Charles along with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall
©Associated Press photo
Prince Edward Island will once again play host to the royal family – an announcement that has P.E.I. officials buzzing with excitement.
Britain's Prince Charles along with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall will visit P.E.I. in May.
Gov.-Gen. David Johnston announced the couple's upcoming royal tour of Canada Thursday in Ottawa.
P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz was more than pleased to hear of the upcoming royal visit.
“To have the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visit our province this year, during the 150th anniversary of the meeting of the Fathers of Confederation, is a true honour,” Ghiz said in a statement.
“It was a pleasure for our province to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the last royal visit in 2011, and we look forward to the opportunity to once again host members of the royal family in our beautiful province.”
Prince William and his wife Kate stopped in Prince Edward Island as part of the then-newlywed couple’s Canadian tour in 2011.
The visit put P.E.I. in the international spotlight during the two-day whirlwind event that saw William pilot a Sea King helicopter in a water bird training exercise on Dalvay Lake, race against his wife in a dragon boat and speak to some 20,000 gathered outside Province House, among a number of public appearances.
Thousands of Islanders flocked to every one, hoping to catch a glimpse of, arguably, the world’s most famous couple.
P.E.I. Lt. Governor Frank Lewis said he believes Islanders will be just as excited to welcome Charles and Camilla to Prince Edward Island this year.
“Prince Charles has not been here since 1983 so I’m sure that there will be a huge crowd that want to see him while they’re here.”
The itinerary for the royal visit to P.E.I. this spring is said to be months from being finalized, but that isn’t stopping anyone from getting excited.
Lewis said he believes their visit is especially opportune as P.E.I. celebrates the anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference – a week of meetings that led to the eventual formation of Canada.
“We have a lot to offer here in terms of the beauty of our province and I think that it’s just all part of the 2014 celebration and it will be just wonderful to have them here.
He also noted the last time Prince Charles visited P.E.I. with his first wife, Diana, he was a new father to a 12-month-old Prince William. On this occasion he will be a new grandfather to a 10-month-old Prince George.
This will be the Duchess of Cornwall’s first visit to Prince Edward Island.
“We are ecstatic that Prince Charles and Camilla are coming to Charlottetown during the 2014 anniversary year,” said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee.
“The 2014 celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference will be a wonderful year of celebrations in so many ways, the royal visit only adds to the festivities.”
Even the prime minister released a statement Thursday welcoming the news.
“I am pleased that their royal highnesses will be joining us in a few months time as Canada enters a five-year period of significant national celebrations, beginning with the centennial of the outbreak of the Great War and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Québec City Conferences, which led to the creation of the Dominion of Canada,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.
“Canadians look forward to having their royal highnesses with us for these and other important moments in the history of our country.”
The royal tour will be co-ordinated by the Canadian secretary to the Queen, Kevin MacLeod, with a detailed programme to be released at a later date.
The tour will also include stops in Manitoba and Nova Scotia.
Prince Charles and Camilla were last in Canada in May 2012, when they visited New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan.