St. John's is 1st stop in 3-day tour
Prince Charles and Camilla have arrived in Canada, kicking off their three-day tour in St. John's.
The royal couple, who landed shortly before 1:30 p.m. NT on Tuesday, greeted Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote and other dignitaries after exiting the plane.
Charles and Camilla are on the way to Confederation Building, where a crowd has gathered for the tour's opening ceremony.
Unlike their last visit to Newfoundland and Labrador, 13 years ago, Charles and Camilla will not be attending any large indoor events. Instead, their itinerary is based on three components — all happening in rapid succession this afternoon — and all public events will be outdoors.
Indigenous reconciliation, which is expected to be a focus of the tour, will be a theme throughout the day.
The couple will hear a prayer in Inuktitut, Innu drumming and Mi'kmaw music at Confederation Building before Prince Charles speaks.
The royals then move to Government House for a moment of reflection at the Heart Garden, planted in memory of the victims of residential schools and their families. Those wishing to observe won't be able to park in the area, but can be dropped off on Military Road, and are being asked to arrive by 2 p.m.
There, the royal pair will spend time at a ceremony chaired by leaders from Newfoundland and Labrador's Indigenous communities. Innu, Nunatsiavut, Qalipu, NunatuKavut and Mi'kmaq representatives have been invited — although Johannes Lampe, Nunatsiavut's president, told CBC News he'll be busy with a swearing-in ceremony and can't attend.
Charles and Camilla end their brief visit in Quidi Vidi Village, where Charles — a staunch supporter of the wool industry — will meet with crafts producers at the Artisan Studios before walking around the harbour and ending their tour at Quidi Vidi Brewery.
Brewery owner Justin Fong called the visit a
huge honour, and hinted that the royal couple may be pulling their own draughts.
We're going to see if we can teach a couple people from the U.K. how to pour a pint, Fong said, laughing.
The public has been invited to Quidi Vidi and are asked to arrive by 3 p.m. A shuttle bus service will run between the Dominion parking lot and the wharf.
The city is closing Cadet Road, Barrows Road, Maple View Place and Stone's Road in advance of the royals' arrival. Parking will be available on Cuckold's Cove Road and parking lots surrounding Quidi Vidi Lake.
Charles and Camilla will tour Ottawa on Wednesday and Yellowknife and Dettah, N.W.T., on Thursday.
Visit will 'mean a lot' says Prime Minister Trudeau
This tour marks the 19th time that Charles has visited Canada, and the first since a wave of republicanism swept the Caribbean earlier this year.
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also visiting St. John's on Tuesday morning, told reporters he wasn't hearing significant anti-monarchy sentiment from Canadians and said he welcomed Charles and Camilla's visit.
I know this will mean a lot to people here, said Trudeau.
As we look at challenges facing our democratic institutions around the world, I think we can be very pleased we have such a stable system.
Trudeau dodged a direct question about whether he believed the royals owed residential school survivors an apology, however, and instead spoke about how his government hoped the Prince and Duchess would use the trip as an opportunity to discuss Indigenous reconciliation and hear from
all sorts of Canadians from different backgrounds.
But federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he supports a request from Indigenous communities for an apology from the monarchy for its role in the residential school system.