This week, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, concluded their cross-Canada, 11-city tour. The red carpet was rolled out for the couple who certainly got the `royal treatment` (excuse the pun) and were greeted by large crowds at every stop. It was the 15th trip to Canada for Charles and the inaugural visit for his wife. It was very interesting to see the media attention which surrounded the visit and the rock star-like following the couple generated. As much debate rages on about whether the monarchy should be abolished, the brand seems strong and relevant with many Canadians.
If you are one of those “Royalty Wannabees,” how about replicating the trip? You might not get the same attention, but let’s face it…that would be stressful anyway. I warn you it’s a busy 11 days but we can make it a lot more conducive for a non-royalty budget with locally-owned and operated Best Western accommodations along the way.
First stop: Newfoundland.
Day 1 – Morning visit to Cupids, N.L., to celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2010; afternoon visit to Brigus, N.L., including the home of Arctic explorer Capt. Bob Bartlett; opening of new housing project in St. John’s; late afternoon visit to Marine Institute at Memorial University; evening reception at The Rooms (Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum). Grab a quick private jet to St. Margaret’s Bay and end a busy first day, but get a great night’s sleep at the Best Western Chocolate Lake Hotel.
Day 2 – Spend a lovely morning in Nova Scotia and attend a morning tree planting and wreath-laying at National War Memorial; followed by a meeting with volunteers at the Association for New Canadians. Next stop: Toronto.
Afternoon arrival at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and meeting with the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility; followed by a tour of the Royal Conservatory of Music at the University of Toronto. Tonight’s accommodations: Best Western Roehampton Hotel & Suites.
Day 3 – Morning visit to Dundern Castle in Hamilton, Ont.; visit to national historic site HMCS Haida; tour of Niagara College Teaching Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.; presentation of new colours to the Royal Regiment of Canada and the Toronto Scottish Regiment at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Just to switch it up, move over to the centrally located Best Western Primrose Hotel.
Day 4 – Morning opening and tour of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto; Visit the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. Mid-day flight to Victoria.
Day 5 – Afternoon arrival at Victoria International Airport; quick public walkabout and rest needed after a long travel day. Cool your jets at Best Western Carlton Plaza Hotel.
Day 6 – Short early morning flight to Vancouver and morning tour of Vancouver Olympic and Paralympics Village; afternoon meeting in Vancouver with Canadian Youth Business Foundation, visit to cancer care clinic Inspire Health and seminar on sustainable development at Simon Fraser University, fly back to Victoria. Keep the variety going and check in to Best Western Inner Harbour.
Day 7 – Morning church service at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria; private program for remainder of day.
Day 8 – Morning inspection of Guard of Honour at CFB Esquimalt, raising of centennial banner and sailpast. Another cross-country flight to Ottawa. Check in to Best Western Victoria Park Suites.
Day 9 – Tour of parliament and breakfast with dignitaries in Ottawa; two-hour train ride to Montreal, followed by visit to Cirque du Soleil; tour of Biodome; presentation of colours to the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment, including meeting with recent Afghanistan veterans. Lovely downtown accommodations at Best Western Ville-Marie Hotel & Suites.
Day 10 - Morning service at the National War Memorial; afternoon visit to CFB Petawawa to meet soldiers and their families; evening reception at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Check into Best Western Macies Hotel.
Day 11 - Morning tree planting at Rideau Hall; official departure from Canada Reception Centre, Ottawa International Airport. Fly home!!!
That’s quite an itinerary. Being royalty is hard work!
How do you feel about the debate – should the monarchy be abolished?