The royals on tour

November 3, 2009

HORSE-RACING/Prince Charles is in Canada, the Queen is expected to go there next year and William is preparing to go to New Zealand and Australia — but are there signs that the locals are revolting?

Polls published in advance of Charles’ visit show support for Canada’s constitutional monarchy is weak, even if the public’s frosty opinion of the Prince of Wales himself has begun to warm just a bit.

Sixty percent of Canadians felt the constitutional monarchy was outdated, although 80 percent said it was an important part of Canadian history.

Polls in New Zealand show people generally in favour of the monarchy even if it seems to have little relevance to their lives but when William heads off afterwards to Australia he will find a much more developed republican movement.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is an avowed republican whose announcement of William’s trip made it crystal clear that the young royal was coming because because he asked to, not because he was invited. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says a split from the monarchy is inevitable in the next decade.

William, travelling without girlfriend Kate Middleton, can expect to bask in the lingering “Diana factor,” but this enduring phenomenon may actually work against the older couple in Canada.

Do you believe such royal visits have any point?


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It depends which royals visit. I think eyebrows are being raised because the visitors are Charles and Camilla, and all that the pair signifies — or doesn’t signify. When the Queen, the late Queen Mother, Princess Diana and the princes visited, I am sure locals were more receptive.

Posted by June | Report as abusive

Fergie certainly made a splash with her mane of red hair when she and Prince Andrew visited in the 1980s — I believe it was for the Queen’s Plate.

Posted by Gerald | Report as abusive

I well remember the buzz in Canada when I was a child of the first visit of the Queen Mother back in 1939. How times have changed. At the time it was a symbol of Canada’s increasing role on the world stage as an independent nation, first truly acknowledged after the country’s contribution to WWI. I think the shame that Charles and Camilla have brought on the royal family have reduced the status of the constitutional monarchy, but it is still an important aspect of democracy to have a figurehead at the top to do all the bottle smashing and official openings and greeting of foreign visitors. Imagine if it were Prime Minister Stephen Harper!

The problem with the U.S. is that the president does it all and that makes it political. At least with the monarchy, such events have a bit of class and distance from the daily grind of left, right, centre politics, etc.

Vive la roi!

Posted by Mary Swithins | Report as abusive

Queen Elizabeth came to our neighbourhood in Ottawa when I was a high school student. We got the afternoon off school to join in the festivities. So that visit had a huge point for me … the same way snow days and teacher pd days always did … the joy of an unexpected day off with nothing much to do!

Posted by Canuckella | Report as abusive

The visit of Charles and Camilla to Canada might give some die-hard royalists a brief interlude to bask in royal-inspired sunshine, but for the rest of us who want to grow up, the weather is chilly, well on the way to icy conditions, when those unfamiliar with the climate should stay home and keep warm.

Posted by Ena Currie | Report as abusive

I’m sure it’s not the locals, but Charles and Camilla who are revolting.

Posted by Peter H | Report as abusive

Why do the Canadian writers have it in for Chuck and Cams? Surely, they are most comic than revolting. So far as I know, Chuck has never commented on Canadian architecture — for which Canada should be greatful. As for the rest of the royals, why are any of them any better than C&C? The UK should be broken apart into its four constituent countries; the royals should be treated like everyone else — as they are in the Benelux and Scandinavian countries — an in fact should be grateful not to be sent back to Hanover. All the pomp and silliness is not good for anyone. And while we’re at it, let’s get the judges and lawyers out of their costume drama and into proper adult clothing.

Posted by Andrew in Cambridge | Report as abusive

I like the Royals and all the pomp and ceremony.
I can’t believe that I missed seeing Prince Charles and Camilla in Victoria, BC yesterday!!
sga in BC

Posted by Sybil G. Ahearne | Report as abusive

I am not a great fan of monarchies and kingdoms, period, they increase tax burdens and disempower voters.

Posted by Casper | Report as abusive