OTTAWA - The future heir to the British throne will be returning to Canada next year to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation.
Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will launch a three-province Canadian tour in May.
Members of the royal family will be fanning out across the globe as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, with royal luminaries paying visits to all countries where the Queen is head of state.
Charles and Camilla will also make stops in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Word that the heir to the throne would be visiting New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan was warmly welcomed by Governor General David Johnston.
"We're very excited that there will be a royal visit that we are all looking forward to," Johnston said while visiting the Canadian Space Agency in Montreal.
Carolyn Harris, a royal scholar with Queen's University, said the decision to delegate the Canadian jubilee celebrations to such a high-ranking royal sends a clear signal about the country's importance to the monarchy.
While the upcoming tour may lack the glamour that characterized Prince William and Kate's whirlwind visit last July, Harris said Charles' pending trip carries historical significance.
"Often when you have a reign that is this long, and this happened during Queen Victoria's reign, it's difficult to imagine the monarchy without that long-reigning monarch," she said.
"By showcasing the younger members of the Royal family, there's an attempt to show what the future of the monarchy will be."
Canada has long been regarded as an ideal destination for high-profile royal visits, Harris said, adding William and Kate's successful visit has only strengthened that reputation. The Diamond Jubilee celebrations will see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour more exotic locales, including Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
The global nature of the anniversary festivities forms a stark contrast with the only other Diamond Jubilee in British history, Harris said.
In 1897, when Queen Victoria had reached 60 years on the throne, commonwealth leaders were invited to travel to London to partake in celebrations in the heart of the British Empire.
The more global approach used in 2012 recognizes the monarchy's different place in the world while still honouring the significance of the occasion, Harris said.
The only royal to remain close to home will be the Queen herself. She and Prince Philip will limit their travels to the United Kingdom during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
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