The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are winding down their visit to Canada. During their visit, the media have rarely passed on an opportunity to assert that the monarchy means little to many (how many is ‘many’ anyway?) Canadians and have been compelled to continuously point out that some people think the monarchy should become past history in Canada.
Regardless of which side of the coin you’re on, where are our collective manners?! I think hashing this out right under the royal noses, so to speak, is just plain rude!
It’s not surprising if the monarchy means little to a number of Canadians – singing ‘God Save the Queen’ was sidelined years ago, Quebec has always disliked and resented Canada’s British ties and nothing in the current Canadian system is designed to strengthen those ties and foster pride in our monarchy.
But I have always taken pride in those ties. Perhaps it’s the childhood influence of my grandmother, who held the queen in enormous esteem. I’ve been a royal-watcher, and supporter, all my life.
As a child, I sang ‘God Save the Queen’ each morning at school and I remember how thrilled I was to wave to the Queen from a Toronto roadside as her car passed by during a royal visit, how much I enjoyed a book about the Queen’s and Princess Margaret’s childhood and what a momentous occasion it was to watch Prince Charles’ investiture as the Prince of Wales on television.
Prince Andrew piqued my interest the year he attended Lakefield School near Peterborough, especially since the son of family friends also attended Lakefield at the time and I was privy to snippets of trivial information about his time there – none of which I remember today.
I was entranced by Princess Diana and, like millions, stunned by her death. I’ve enjoyed watching Princes William and Harry grow into young men.
Through it all, the media spotlight illuminated and magnified every royal human foible with the ever-increasing intensity of our times. There were some rocky moments and Prince Charles has been at the centre of his fair share of them. But in recent years, after taking time to learn more about him, I’ve grown to like and respect the Prince and think he will make a fine king when the time comes. He strikes me as a thoughtful and compassionate man and I find myself in agreement with many of his views.
The Prince’s interests and concerns cover a variety of fields such as architecture, inner cities, education, religion, health, farming, gardening and painting. His interests are reflected in ‘The Prince’s Charities’, a group of twenty not-for-profit organisations, most of which were founded personally by The Prince. The group is the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the United Kingdom, raising over £130 million annually.
I’m pleased the Prince and Duchess chose to visit Canada but I’m embarrassed by the reception they seemingly got while here. I’m proud of our royal ties and feel we would be all the poorer should those ties be severed.