Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, wrapped up their tour of New Brunswick today with a visit to CFB Gagetown and a heritage walking tour in Saint John.
The royal couple also made a stop at Hazen-White-St. Francis School, where the prince played an impromptu match of hockey with several young children.
It was the second day in the province for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as part of Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth's reign.
Their schedule was delayed in the afternoon as the couple greeted long lines of people hoping to chat with them.
In his first public comments since landing in Canada, Charles noted Monday morning that this is his 16th tour of Canada in the last 40 years — a comment that drew a warm round of applause from onlookers.
He also recalled for the crowd that he visited CFB Gagetown as a young naval pilot in the 1970s.
“I am greatly looking forward to talking to members and veterans of Her Majesty’s Canadian Armed Forces in a few moments and to recognize their particular form of service to the nation," Charles told the crowd. " I shall also be delighted to see over the next few days, the results of some projects co-ordinated by my Prince’s Charities Canada Foundation.
"And I hope that these projects may in a small way help to promote Canadian values and way of life, by assisting our military with transition to civilian life by providing private-sector training and skills by bringing business-based solutions to communities who need a bit of a helping hand and by using the arts as a vehicle for wider learning.”
During his tour of the base, Charles met veterans and other members of the military.
New Brunswick Premier David Alward welcomed the royals to the province during a ceremony at the base, saying Charles has been "a great friend to our country, your royal highness, through your many trips to every corner of our land and your patronage and support of so many groups and causes here in New Brunswick and throughout Canada. But it is your dedication to the well-being of service men and women that means the most to a great many of us here today," Alward said.
"Canadian Forces Base Gagetown is the heart of the Canadian Armed Forces, where young men and women come to become soldiers and learn the discipline and skills of a military career. As service is the general theme of this Jubilee year, there is no better place to begin your tour of Canada than right here.
"The soldiers who are based and who have trained here have gone on to serve our country with great distinction and valour in both war and peacekeeping around the globe."
During the CFB Gagetown visit, the royals met military personnel enrolled in The Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur program.
Johnston hosted a private reception for the royals before the two travelled to Saint John.
'Most loyal city in the country'
Saint John Mayor Ivan Court said in an interview with CBC News that the royal tour comes at a fitting time for New Brunswick’s largest city.
“We just celebrated Loyalist Days on May 18 with a 21-gun salute. And it is a great gift to have Prince Charles and his wife with him here for this weekend,” Court said.
“We have a tradition here, a British tradition that goes back to 1783 and then with the founding of the city in 1785. So we are the most loyal city in the country and it's great to have the Royal Highnesses here with us today."
During the Saint John tour, Prince Charles was given a tour around the downtown core by John Leroux, a well-known New Brunswick architect, and shown some of the city's award-winning heritage sites.
"After the great fire that took place [in 1877], the rebuilding that took place, we have many brownstones. We won a major award in 2002 for our heritage," Court said.
"And the prince is going to have an opportunity to go down, and look at those buildings and explore the great city that has been so loyal to the Crown now for more than 227 years."
At the Hazen-White-St. Francis School, Prince Charles and Premier David Alward presented principal Jennifer Carhart with the Diamond Jubilee medal in an emotional ceremony.
"Jennifer, for your tireless work on behalf of the children of Hazen White/St. Francis and for the energy and leadership you demonstrate every day in making their lives a little better, I’m proud to say you are receiving the Diamond Jubilee Medal," Alward said.
Royals arrived on Sunday
Charles and Camilla landed at the Fredericton airport on Sunday.
The royals were initially welcomed to the province by federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield and Lt.-Gov. Graydon Nicholas, but they also had a special welcome from Kaitlyn Tozer, 11, who was waiting to present Camilla with a bouquet of flowers.
It was an exciting experience for Kaitlyn, who is battling a brain tumour and is a recipient of a wish from the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Gerry Beresford, a director with the Children’s Wish Foundation, said Tozer did an “outstanding, remarkable job" welcoming the royals.
Away from the tarmac, more than 100 onlookers were hoping to get a glimpse of Charles and Camilla.
Bena Patel, a member of the Monarchist League, said she wanted to see the couple to add to her long list of members of the Royal Family she has met.
“I got a picture with the Queen and Prince Philip, I met Princess Diana and Prince Charles when they were in Saint John, I met with Prince Edward ... and I met Princess Anne,” she said.
Patel wasn’t the only royals enthusiast drawn to the Fredericton airport to see Camilla.
“I have never seen her before, so curiosity has brought me here today. This is my fourth time seeing Prince Charles,” said Rhonda MacMillian.
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