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New Brunswick Prepares For Royal Couple's Arrival

05/20/2012 04:23 EDT | Updated 07/20/2012 05:12 EDT
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Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, landed in Fredericton on Sunday night, making New Brunswick the first stop on their three-province tour.

The visit is part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth's reign.

The royal couple were greeted by local dignitaries including federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield and New Brunswick Lt.- Gov. Graydon Nicholas.

Ashfield said he had met many members of the royal family during his political career, but it was the first time he had met Charles and Camilla.

The royal couple visit CFB Gagetown Monday morning, where they will be officially welcomed by Gov. Gen. David Johnston. After inspecting the guard of honour and meeting with families of soldiers who have died, they'll receive a 21-gun salute. The Prince of Wales is expected to address the crowd.

Charles and Camilla will also visit the prince's Operation Entrepreneur program, which helps military personnel make the transition to civilian life by starting their own businesses.

In the afternoon, they will travel to Saint John for a walking tour along Prince William Street, which features late 19th-century architecture. In 1981, Prince William Street became the first streetscape in Canada designated as of national historic and architectural significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

They will also attend a citizenship ceremony for 12 new Canadians, two for each decade of the Queen's reign. Then it's a short walk to the Marco Polo Cruise Ship Terminal for Victoria Day celebrations, including displays of local crafts and choral presentations.

They will then tour Hazen White–St. Francis School, an elementary school with about 145 students who are predominantly from low-income families, before flying to Toronto in time to view a Victoria Day fireworks display.

Reception in Toronto

On Tuesday, the Ontario government will host a reception in the historic Distillery District for the royal couple before Charles visits the Yonge Street Mission.

In a column he wrote for the Globe and Mail, Charles said he wanted to find practical opportunities to celebrate how Canadians are serving their home communities, the country and the world.

"Service to others is the central theme of the Diamond Jubilee and it is this that guides the Queen and my family in all that we try to do," he said. "Many of the engagements during this tour are deliberately focused on highlighting individual cases of success which tell a wider story so that they might inspire others to become involved in similar ways."

The royals will depart Toronto on Tuesday evening for Regina, and will meet privately with Prime Minister Stephen Harper before being treated to a concert by the Regina Symphony Orchestra before the tour concludes.

For some, the short visit isn't as exciting as other royal visits.

"It's kind of a low-key visit. Like, in England, when they come it's a little bit more hyped up, I think, than it is here," said Moira Baker, a Fredericton resident who was born in Somerset, England. "They do a little more charity interaction than they're doing here."

It's been 16 years since Prince Charles was last in New Brunswick.

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