Premier says he's pleased with P.E.I. part of royal tour

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Prince Charles on P.E.I. File Photo

Premier Robert Ghiz says he’s thrilled with how the royal visit came off.

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, spent less than 24 hours in the province on Monday and Tuesday but took part in a number of events.

It was the premier’s second opportunity hosting a royal couple after welcoming Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, three years ago.

“I can say that I was genuinely impressed with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla,’’ Ghiz said Wednesday. “He was very down to earth, very engaging (and) was interested in what was going on. I have a newfound respect for Prince Charles and Camilla and the role they play within the monarchy.’’

Two of the events the royal couple took part in, either together or separately, that generated a bit of chatter or controversy included Wade Lynch’s performance as Queen Elizabeth II on Monday night and the prince’s visit to the new Bonshaw provincial park.

The Queen skit has drawn a lot of press, locally and internationally, with many saying the royal couple did not appear to have enjoyed the performance.

The premier says that everything the couple took part in was vetted ahead of time by Clarence House, which handles all of the royal couple’s official engagements. That includes the script that Lynch performed.

'I have a newfound respect for Prince Charles and Camilla and the role they play within the monarchy.’P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz

The Bonshaw issue has been a big news item for some time now. The new park is located around land acquired for the realignment of the Trans-Canada Highway, the scene of protests over the past year.

“They kind of draw up the agenda in terms of areas of interest and we know the prince is an avid hiker and enjoys the outdoors,’’ Ghiz said. “He kept his dress shoes on and went through the trails even though it was a little muddy. He was a great sport.’’

The next opportunity for a royal visit could come as early as 2017 when Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary. The premier said it goes without saying P.E.I. would be interested although there haven’t been any official requests made yet.

Organizations: Clarence House, Trans-Canada Highway

Geographic location: Bonshaw, Cambridge, Canada

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