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Ahead of a royal tour to St. John’s, there are conflicting feelings




Prince Charles and Camilla will be in St. John’s on Tuesday, the first leg of a Canadian tour that marks Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

Charles has already been to St. John’s twice. He and Camilla visited the city in 2009 on a relatively leisurely tour that also included stops in the nearby historic towns of Cupids and Brigus.

In 1983, however, he and Diana, then Princess of Wales, caused a stir with a tour that garnered international attention and drew huge crowds at various events. Newfoundland proudly presented itself in the past as the first colony of the British Empire.

Polling data suggests that Canadians have shifting feelings about the monarchy in general, and Charles in particular. An Angus Reid poll in November found that many Canadians’ interest in the monarch is directly related to their feelings for the Queen. Only 34% of respondents to this survey said they would support a constitutional monarchy once Charles becomes king.

Ahead of Tuesday’s visit, CBC’s Raven Anderson and Mark Cumby polled people in St. John’s and found a variety of opinions.

“I don’t think Newfoundlanders identify much more with British royalty,” Lucas Barnes said.

Partricia McGarry Roberts said she was “not a staunch monarchist”, but expects some people will enjoy the visit.

“Whether we like it or not, the royal family and the British are part of our history and we will soon see a change. Queen Elizabeth is going to pass away and Prince Charles will have to get used to it,” she said.

Roxanne Dias said she believes the monarchy is “sort of falling apart” and added that her Indian heritage influences how she sees things now that she lives in Canada. “For us, for example, British royalty was always the British Raj where they were, they did all their things. So I never really liked them.”

Charles and Camilla’s visit will include a somber moment in Government House’s Heart Garden, to reflect on the Aboriginal children who died in residential schools. Several Aboriginal groups from across the province were invited to the event.

The couple will also visit Quidi Vidi, a small port in the eastern heart of the city, to meet craft producers and the public.

To see what people think of the monarchy today, click on the player above.

Learn more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador




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