Prince Charles, Camilla plan visit to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will make a brief royal visit to help celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston announced on Tuesday that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will visit the capital region, Ontario and Nunavut from June 29 to July 1.

"We are pleased they are joining in the sesquicentennial festivities, and look forward to Canadians having the opportunity to showcase the very best that our country has to offer," Johnston said in a statement.

It will mark the 18th visit to Canada for Prince Charles and the fourth visit for Camilla. In May 2014, the royal couple visited Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.

More details on the the 2017 Royal Tour will be released later by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Robert Finch, Dominion Chairman of The Monarchist League of Canada, welcomed news of the visit by the heir to the throne.

"It's an excellent opportunity for Prince Charles to further build upon his role at such a historic milestone," he told CBC News. "It's equally exciting for Canadians to once again get the chance to see and meet Charles and Camilla and to get to know them more."

Promoting charitable work

During his 2014 visit, Prince Charles highlighted some of the initiatives of the Prince's Charities Canada (PCC), which works to help disadvantaged youth, and promote education, responsible business, environmental sustainability and support Indigenous communities and the armed forces.

Matthew Rowe, PCC's director of operations and partnerships, said one of the goals for Canada's 150th anniversary is to highlight work in every part of the country, including initiatives in Canada's North to promote Indigenous languages and food security. He expects there will be opportunities to showcase the prince's charitable work even though the visit is short. 

"At a time when most people are retiring, his work is just ramping up. He's taking on more and more obligations, so that puts a crunch on the calendar," he said. 

Tom Freda, national director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, said he looks forward to heightened debate over the monarchy's constitutional relevance that traditionally comes with royal visits.

"We welcome all visitors to Canada, including members of the British Royal Family," he said. "As long as the majority of Canadians support inviting them, and the true cost of hosting is revealed — something the government hasn't been quite up front with in the past — we have no objection per se." 

Freda noted that Royal Family members visit many countries, including many Commonwealth republics that have cut their constitutional connection to Britain, and would be welcomed here if Canada were to take the same route to independence.