Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend King's coronation in London next week

·3 min read

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to attend the coronation of King Charles in London next week alongside dignitaries from around the world.

Trudeau's office is expected to officially confirm his itinerary for the trip to the United Kingdom next week.

The coronation of the 74-year-old monarch will take place at Westminster Abbey on May 6 in a religious ceremony conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The confirmation came as the Mounties announced that the King has taken on a new title: the RCMP Commissioner-in-Chief.

His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, had been the first person to adopt that title in 2012.

"His Majesty will play a titular role in recognizing the importance of the RCMP at home and abroad by highlighting the rich history between the RCMP and the monarchy, which dates back to the genesis of the RCMP during the reign of Queen Victoria," the force said in a news release on Friday.

The Mounties say that interim Commissioner Mike Duheme and Ralph Goodale, Canada's high commissioner in London, presented a horse named Noble to the Royal Family at Windsor Castle.

During the coronation procession, RCMP members will ride Noble and other horses gifted to the family during Queen Elizabeth II's reign.

Buckingham Palace said in its own statement Friday that the King received a commemorative sword that was designed to celebrate the RCMP's 150th anniversary on May 23.

Back at home, Canadians will be able to celebrate the King's coronation at a special event in Ottawa the same day.

The federal Heritage Department says an hour-long program is being prepared to mark the occasion featuring music, art and poetry.

Canada Post is also set to reveal its first stamp with the King's image at the event.

It's unclear how interested most Canadians are in the coronation or the reign of King Charles, with some recent public opinion polls showing his popularity in Canada is much lower than that his mother enjoyed.

Canada is one of 15 countries that currently recognize King Charles as head of state, but there is a growing movement, particularly in the Caribbean, to drop the monarchy in favour of becoming republics.

Barbados did so in 2021 and Jamaica began the process of transitioning last year. Australia is expected to hold a referendum on the monarchy as early as 2025.

But Trudeau said Friday he will not be "diving into constitutional negotiations over an issue like this," citing more pressing concerns and a lack of a clear alternative.

"Canada does have one of the most stable democracies around, and there are obviously a number of people who feel that a different system would serve us better," he said during a trip to New York City.

"Those people can make those arguments, but what those people can't do is agree on what alternative would be better."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2023.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated the King's age.