FILE - Oct. 27, 2009 file photo, Britain's Prince Charles, left, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)
THE CANADIAN PRESS
CFB GAGETOWN, N.B. — Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have kicked off their Canadian tour at the same New Brunswick military base where the Duke of Cornwall trained as a military pilot.
Charles said he was delighted to begin his trip at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, where he flew as a naval helicopter pilot in the 1970s “at an exercise area in the middle of nowhere,” drawing a smattering of laughter.
He also extolled the virtues of service to community — a prominent theme of the royal couple’s visit as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“The roll-call extends from remarkable schoolteachers who, against all the odds, are giving their students the best possible start in life, to senior businessmen and women who are working creatively to share their practical skills and experience with communities who need a bit of help,” Charles said.
“I can only hope their example will inspire others as it inspires me.”
Gov. Gen. David Johnston, federal Heritage Minister James Moore and Premier David Alward welcomed the couple under sunny skies following a 21-gun salute.
Later Monday, Charles and Camilla are scheduled to attend a citizenship ceremony for 12 new Canadians — two for each decade of the Queen’s reign — and a Victoria Day celebration in Saint John, N.B.
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.
On Tuesday, the Ontario government will host a reception in the historic Distiller District for the royal couple before Charles visits the Yonge Street Mission.
They will depart Toronto on Tuesday evening for Regina. The next day, Charles will have a private audience with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and be treated to a concert by the Regina Symphony Orchestra before the tour concludes.