King Charles III & Queen Camilla

An Overview of Canadians’ Relationship with our Monarch

The King’s multi-focussed interests, ranging from a concern for the built environment to sustainable farming practices to rainforest preservation, and from humane architecture to his serving as a principal interlocutor between Islam and the West, and – above all – to his work among youth and enterprise through the Prince’s Trust – have for decades found increasing resonance amongst Canadians, with a party of eminent Canadians visiting some of the Trust’s operations in the mid-2000s to see how they might be extended or applicable to Canada. After several false starts, the desire of the Prince and key supporters here to have HRH’s future role as King of Canada strengthened by encouraging a Canadian expression of his many initiatives and concerns, well known in Britain via the Trust, came to fruition with the establishment of Prince’s Charities Canada which was extensively covered in the Spring, 2014 edition of Canadian Monarchist News And the personal presence in Canada while he was Heir Apparent to Canada’s throne has long been a familiar sight.

As a young man, Charles dived under the Arctic ice cap, emerging with an inflated suit to make him somewhat resemble the Michelin Man of the tire manufacturer’s advertising fame! However amusing the photograph, the dive was a deliberate and carefully staged event by the Trudeau government. No better image could have informed the world in 1970 of Canada’s assertion to sovereignty over its northern lands and water passages, a role then being tested by both the United States and the Soviet Union. Themed homecomings, linking the Prince’s interests to Canadian values and concerns, have been part of a strategy whereby Charles has come to know Canada, and Canadians have gained impressions of their future King in person rather than through the often-distorted, if not entirely false, lens of tabloids fed to us over the news wires.

Given that the Royal Family, like any family, has gone through its share of ups and downs, Canadians also have come to know Charles through our sharing in the good and bad times of his life. We hailed his bride, Diana, Princess of Wales, during the couple’s triumphant Maritime tour in 1983, while in 1986 no less adulation accompanied a British Columbia tour culminating in their visiting Expo 86 in Vancouver. A warm welcome also came to them throughout an Ontario tour in 1991. It was on this occasion that Charles and Diana were memorably reunited with their sons, William and Harry, aboard HMY Britannia, which was docked in Toronto Harbour.

In common with a world perhaps too easily forgetful of the deep unhappiness marriage breakdown inevitably brings to our own family and friends, many Canadians eagerly consumed details of subsequent unhappiness in Charles and Diana’s lives, and made judgments based on, at best, incomplete knowledge of all the circumstances involved. This emotional reaction to the very public breakdown of the Prince and Princess’ relationship was rekindled in the genuine grief coupled with unpleasant hysteria that accompanied Diana’s tragic death in 1997.

However, like our counterparts throughout the Commonwealth, as time passed most Canadians gradually came to judge Charles less as a figure in a ghastly soap opera and more as whole man, with many talents along with that lack of perfection which every one of us shares. The burgeoning of support for his various causes, and his evidently close relationship with his sons, led most to wish for him the same happiness so many of us have found in second marriages.

This more sympathetic view was apparent by the time of Charles’ marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005 – and in the warm, welcome given the then Prince and Duchess of Cornwall on their first Canadian homecoming as a couple in the fall of 2009, and followed by even more successful tours in 2012, 2014 and 2017. The first also reminded Canadians of Camilla’s direct ancestral links to Canada, through a former Prime Minister of the Province of Canada, Sir Allan MacNab, a son of Hamilton, Ontario (and builder of Dundurn Castle) who was the Duchess’ great-great-great grandfather.

Canadians will feel re-assured of Charles and Camilla’s long acquaintance with our land; his relationships with political figures and knowledge of our country’s polity; his discussions with Aboriginal leaders and concern for all his diverse subjects; his being a leader in fomenting understanding of our environment, the problems of young people and the contribution made by architecture to the quality of life – not to mention Camilla’s promotion of literacy and the love of reading.

Indeed, they are a Royal Couple for our time!

Charles and Camilla during one of their frequent homecomings to Canada

Charles’ Canadian Military Appointments

Like most other members of Canada’s Royal Family, the Prince of Wales holds a number of honorary military appointments whereby he maintains close touch with units of the Canadian Forces and serves as a focus of pride and a kindling of the esprit de corps and traditions of the regimental families involved. The Prince’s appointments are listed in order of length of service.


  • Commodore-in-Chief, Royal Canadian Navy (Fleet Atlantic)


  • Honorary Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police


  • Vice-Admiral, Canadian Forces Maritime Command
  • Lieutenant General, Canadian Forces Land Command
  • Lieutenant General, Canadian Forces Air Command


  • Colonel-in-Chief, The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Own)


  • Colonel-in-Chief, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada


  • Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Canadian Dragoons


  • Colonel-in-Chief, Air Reserve of Canada
  • Colonel-in-Chief, Lord Strathcona’s Horse
  • Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Regiment of Canada
  • Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Winnipeg Rifles

Highlights of Charles’ and His Family’s Canadian Homecomings

  • 2022

    • Charles & Camilla make a Platinum Jubilee homecoming, visiting St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; the National Capital Region; and Yellowknife and Dettah, Northwest Territories
  • 2017

    • Charles & Camilla preside at Canada 150 ceremonies on Parliament Hill


  • 2016

    • The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, with Prince George & Princess Charlotte, tour BC and Yukon – to the welcome of enormous crowds.
  • 2014

    • Charles and Camilla were welcomed in Halifax and Pictou, NS; Charlottetown, PE; Winnipeg, MB


  • 2012

    • The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall represent The Queen by celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in Gagetown-Oromocto and Saint John, NB; Toronto, ON; Regina, SK
  • 2011

    •  The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) take Canada by storm as they are welcomed by throngs in Ottawa; Quebec City; Charlottetown and Summerside, PEI; Yellownknife, NWT; Calgary, AB


  • 2009

    • Charles and Camilla welcomed to Canada for the first time as a couple
    • Warmly received in Newfoundland, Ontario, British Columbia and Québec (the latter with a minor separatist demonstration dominating the headlines)
    • The tour concluded with the Prince of Wales joining the Governor General at the national Remembrance Day ceremonies organized by the Royal Canadian Legion
    • Princes William and Harry appointed honorary Canadian Rangers.
  • 2008

    • Harry takes part in British Forces military exercises in Suffield, Alberta, and enjoys evenings mingling with Canadians in Red Deer restaurants and nightspots


  • 2002

    • Charles awarded Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2001

    •  Charles hailed by thousands during noon-hour appearance in Ottawa
    • Also visits Yukon and Saskatchewan during six-day homecoming
    • Awarded Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal


  • 1998

    •  After a day of engagements in the Vancouver area, Charles, William and Harry enjoy a five-day skiing holiday in Whistler, British Columbia
  • 1991

    •  Charles and Diana are joined by William and Harry for five days of an Ontario homecoming


  • 1986

    • Charles and Diana welcomed in British Columbia, culminating in visit to Expo 86, Vancouver
  • 1983

    • Charles brings Diana to Canada for first time—enormous crowds during 18-day tour of Maritime provinces
    • The Prince and Princess also open the World University Games in Edmonton


  • 1982

    •  Charles awarded Canadian Forces Decoration with two subsequent clasps
  • 1977

    •  Charles awarded Canadian Silver Jubilee Medal


  • 1976

    •  Charles joins The Queen, Prince Philip and his siblings to attend the Montréal Olympics and cheer on his sister, Princess Anne, as she competes in equestrian events at Bromont, Québec
  • 1970

    • Charles makes first Canadian visit, beginning solo for two days in Ottawa before joining The Queen and Prince Philip for centennial Confederation celebration tours of Manitoba and Northwest Territories
    • Charles makes dive under the Arctic ice cap


A Much-Loved Couple: Elizabeth II & the Duke of Edinburgh

Canada’s Late Queen

During her 70 years as our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II embodied the Canadian state. As King Charles now is, so she was the source of law, the principal guardian of the Constitution, the “fount of honour”, the focus of allegiance and the personification of “a life consecrated to service” (Christopher Plummer, speaking on Parliament Hill, Canada Day, 2010). The timeline below lists some but of the significant events highlighting her continuous involvement with Canadians.

A complete record of Elizabeth’s Canadian homecomings together with much other information about our monarchy, including a list of organizations granted Royal Patronage and the designation “Royal”, may be found at the Canadian Heritage website.

The Late Queen’s Canadian military Appointments

Reflecting her role as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, The Queen held the following honorary appointments as Colonel-in-Chief:

  • The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s)
  • The Calgary Highlanders
  • The Canadian Grenadier Guards
  • The Canadian Armed Forces’ Legal Branch
  • The Canadian Military Engineers
  • The 48th Highlanders of Canada
  • The Governor General’s Foot Guards
  • The Governor General’s Horse Guards
  • The King’s Own Calgary Regiment
  • Le Régiment de la Chaudière
  • The Rocky Mountain Rangers
  • The Royal New Brunswick Regiment
  • The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (as Captain General)
  • The Royal 22e Régiment (“The Van Doos”)

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Portrait

  • 1953


    "Queen of Canada"

    • The Royal Style and Titles Act is passed by Parliament, making Elizabeth II officially “Queen of Canada”
  • 1957

    • The Queen opens her Parliament in Ottawa


  • 1959


    The St. Lawrence Seaway

    • The Queen of Canada travels to the United States of America, where she opens the St. Lawrence Seaway together with President Eisenhower during a 45-day tour of all 12 provinces and territories
  • 1964

    Centenary of Confederation Conferences

    • The Queen attends events in Charlottetown and Québec City to mark the centenary of the conferences leading to Confederation in 1867


  • 1967


    Canada’s Centenary

    • The Queen celebrates Canada’s centenary by visiting Ottawa and Expo 67, the World’s Fair, held in Montréal
  • 1970

    • The Queen begins her custom of visiting provinces marking their centenary within Confederation: Manitoba in 1970 (together with the centenary of the Northwest Territories); British Columbia in 1971; Prince Edward Island in 1973 (together with the 300th anniversary of the founding of Kingston, Ontario, and the centennial celebrations of the RCMP); Saskatchewan and Alberta in 2005


  • 1973


    Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

    •  Receiving guests while in residence at Rideau Hall, The Queen presides at the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Ottawa
  • 1976

    Montréal Olympics

    •  The Queen declares open the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal; with Prince Philip and her children, she supports Princess Anne as she competes in Olympic equestrian events at Bromont, Québec


  • 1977


    Silver Jubilee

    •  Canada’s monarch celebrates her Silver Jubilee by opening Parliament and visiting the National Capital Region
  • 1978

    Commonwealth Games, Edmonton

    • The Queen declares open the 11th Commonwealth Games in Edmonton in the course of a 12-day homecoming


  • 1982


    Constitution Act

    • The Queen proclaims the patriated Constitution of Canada in a ceremony held on Parliament Hill
  • 1983

    • While visiting the United States, The Queen informs President Reagan that “I am going home to Canada tomorrow”, subsequently making a four-day homecoming to British Columbia


  • 1984


    New Brunswick and Ontario Bicentenaries

    •  Canada’s Sovereign celebrates the bicentenaries of the founding of New Brunswick and Ontario in the course of a 13-day homecoming
  • 1987

    Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

    •  During a 16-day homecoming, The Queen presides over the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Victoria


  • 1992


    125th Anniversary of Confederation

    •  The Queen celebrates the 125th Anniversary of Confederation by presiding at Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill
  • 1994

    Canadian D-Day Commemorations

    •  As Canada’s monarch, The Queen presides at Canadian D-Day commemorations in France. During a 10-day homecoming, she declares open the 15th Commonwealth Games in Victoria. Accompanied by her Canadian prime minister, she dedicates the Canada Memorial, honouring the fallen of both World Wars, at Green Park, London


  • 1997

    •  In the course of a 10-day homecoming, The Queen attends the 500th anniversary landing re-enactment of the Matthew, at Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • 2002

    Golden Jubilee

    •  The Queen celebrates the Golden Jubilee with a homecoming to the five regions of Canada


  • 2004


    60th Anniversary of D-Day

    •  As Queen of Canada, the Sovereign attends the Canadian commemoration service marking the 60th anniversary of D-Day, at Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, France
  • 2007

    Re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial

    •  Visiting France as Canada’s Sovereign, The Queen re-dedicates the Vimy Memorial


  • 2010


    Canada Day Ceremonies

    •  Unprecedented numbers of Canadians hail their Queen as she presides for the fifth time at Canada Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill during a 10-day homecoming
  • 2015

    Re-opens Canadian High Commission

    • The Queen re-opens the Canadian High Commission, London
    • The Queen creates the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers


  • 2021

    • Queen invites Canadian Forces elements to mount the Guard outside Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace and the Tower of London

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

A Prince of Talent & Dedication

The Duke of Edinburgh gave unstinted support to the work of The Queen in her Canadian Realm until his much-lamented death in 2021. Prince Philip accompanied Her Majesty on most of her Canadian homecomings, but also made a number of tours on his own, reflecting his many patronages and involvements in our country, which includes the support of over 40 organizations ranging from the College of Family Physicians of Canada to Outward Bound Trust-Canada.

Notable among these commitments was The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards in Canada. Founded in 1956, and established in Canada in 1962, the Award Scheme has since spread to 140 countries and some eight million participants, with the aim of encouraging personal development and community involvement amongst young people. Over 44,000 Canadian youth participated in the Award in 2015. The Duke personally presented many of the Gold Award certificates (the highest of three levels of achievement) in his role as Patron and Chairman of Trustees. He gradually turned over many responsibilities in the Award to his third son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, who in the fullness of time will succeed to his father’s dukedom.

Prince Philip’s Canadian Military Appointments

Prince Phillip also maintained a significant involvement with the Canadian Forces. These included his appointments as Honorary Admiral and General, and his serving as Colonel-in-Chief of the following units, which will in due time receive new appointments:

  • The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa – Duke of Edinburgh’s Own
  • The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
  • The Royal Canadian Army Cadets
  • The Royal Canadian Regiment
  • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment)
  • The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada

Prince Philip as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment

The Duke’s final return to Canada came during a whirlwind 24 hours in Toronto on April 26-27, 2013. At 91, HRH was hailed by enthusiastic crowds as he led commemorations of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with his Royal Canadian Regiment. During the visit, the Governor General of Canada presented him with Canada’s highest honours, those of Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada and Companion of the Order of Military Merit.

Outspoken – as was his disposition throughout the Reign – two of Prince Philip’s most notable interventions in Canadian life centered on health and the place of the Monarchy. During an extensive homecoming in 1959 in which he joined The Queen, the Duke addressed the Canadian Medical Association in Toronto, Anticipating the fitness craze by about a decade, HRH encouraged better health amongst young people by “proper physical education in schools, adequate recreational facilities…” with implied criticism that not all agreed with at the time.

More controversial were the Duke’s comments at an Ottawa press conference in 1969, a time when the place of the monarchy was perhaps most under threat in Canada:

The monarchy exists in Canada for historical reasons and it exists in the sense that it is of benefit, to the country or to the nation. If at any stage any nation decides that the system is unacceptable then it’s up to them to change it. I think it’s a complete misconception to imagine that the Monarchy exists in the interests of the Monarch – it doesn’t. It exists in the interests of the people: in a sense – we don’t come here for our health, so to speak. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves…
Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh
Ottawa, 1969

The remarks caused a typical flap but later, as The Canadian Encyclopedia reflects, came to be seen as encouraging open discussion about the Monarchy’s future in Canada.