The rain held off and thousands of Nova Scotians got the chance to catch a glimpse of Their Royal Highnesses as they toured Halifax and Dartmouth before heading to Pictou to cap off their visit to the province.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall experienced the sights and sounds of Halifax Regional Municipality today, May 19, and met residents, business owners, community groups, artists, young farmers and musicians.
“It was our pleasure and honour to host Their Royal Highnesses on the first stop of their tour to Canada,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “It was wonderful to see so many Nova Scotians, young and old, come out for the celebration.”
Gov. Gen. David Johnston, Premier McNeil and other dignitaries officially welcomed Their Royal Highnesses at Grand Parade this morning where the Prince of Wales gave his only remarks during his tour to the province.
Following the official welcome ceremony, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Halifax and Region Military Family Resource Centre and met with groups that provide support to military families.
“We have been fortunate to enjoy the company of members of the Royal Family on many occasions in the past, and at times of great significance for our nation,” said Premier McNeil.
The Prince of Wales toured the Public Gardens while The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Northbrook Community Centre in Dartmouth and attended a barbecue.
“It was an honour to have the Prince of Wales visit the Public Gardens because of his strong interest in cultivation and gardening,” said Bev MacPhail, chief horticulturalist with HRM. “As a Victorian garden and historic site, we have many connections to the Royal Family, including the recently restored bandstand and Jubilee Fountain that were originally built to commemorate the 50th and 60th anniversaries of Queen Victoria’s reign.”
The Royal Couple then made a trip to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market where they met with some of Nova Scotia’s inspiring artisans and young entrepreneurs and farmers.
After meeting Their Royal Highnesses, 14-year-old Hope Blooms member Bocar Wade said he thought the Prince of Wales was a nice guy and the whole thing was a really cool experience.
Jessie Jollymore, project lead for Hope Blooms, said the kids were very excited.
“They thought that Dragons’ Den was a big thing, but to meet the Royal Family, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Ms. Jollymore.
Their last stop in Halifax was the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 for tea with war brides and Second World War veterans.
“The Duchess of Cornwall went to every table and made herself at home,” said war bride Joan Stead, of Halifax, originally from England. “Everyone really appreciated their visit.”
The historic Ship Hector made a fitting backdrop for the final stop on the Nova Scotia leg of the tour. The Royal Couple was joined in Pictou by a crowd of hundreds along the water at the Hector Heritage Quay to enjoy music and song as a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the visit.
The Royal Couple is now off to Prince Edward Island and will wrap up their tour Wednesday, May 21, in Manitoba.
For more information about the Canadian tour, visit http://canadiancrown.gc.ca/ .
To see photos of the Royal Tour in Nova Scotia, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/123667820@N06/ .