Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Royal Romance Report - Sunday November 29th, 2009

How did the Queen make a 110 year old subject's day? Should Prince Philip wear socks with sandals? Does Princess Eugenie play for the other team?

Listen to this episode to find out.

Publications mentioned

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother - The Official Biography by William Shawcross

Elizabeth, The Queen Mother by Hugo Vickers

Hello! Canada Weekly No 151 23 November 2009
Hello! Canada Weekly No 152 30 November 2009

Websites mentioned

World of Royalty

Tune in LIVE to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday December 6, 2009 at 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: After 62 years of marriage, a look back at the Queen and Prince Philip's marriage.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday November 22nd, 2009 - A look back at Canadian Royal Tours Part 2

Which heir to the throne shook 24,855 hands during his visit to Canada? When and where did the Queen make her first televised broadcast? What will I miss most about Charles and Camilla's visit?

Listen to this episode to find out!

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 150 16 November 2009
Hello! Canada Weekly No 151 23 November 2009

Website mentioned

The Royal Forums - Royal Jewels Thread

Resources used

Canada's Queen by Patti Tasko

The Queen's Tour of Canada Souvenir Edition by Trevor Hall

Fifty Years the Queen Arthur Bousfield & Garry Toffoli

Charles and Diana visit Canada by David Levenson and Trevor Hall

Royal Canada - A History of Royal visits since 1786 - by Trevor Hall

Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family in Canada (Golden Jubilee) - Stewart House Publishing

Tune in LIVE to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday November 29, 2009 at 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: The Royal Romance Report - November edition

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 10 & 11

On day 10 in Canada Charles and Camilla arrived at the National War Memorial for Remembrance Day in Ottawa. The couple attended the ceremony, along with the Prime Minister and Governor General to take part in a ceremony to 'remember and honour the more than 1,500,000 Canadian men and women who have served, and continue to serve, their country during times of war, conflict and peace.' Afterwards they headed to CFB Petawawa where they visited soldiers and their families.

Later on in the evening they attended a reception and dinner hosted by Their Excellencies at Rideau Hall.

The next day they planted an red oak sapling in the grounds of Rideau Hall as a commemoration of their visit. After an 11 day tour with stops in St. John's, Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa which included partaking in 55 events they departed for England.


© Marilyn Braun 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 9

Charles and Camilla arrived back in Ontario, visiting Ottawa - the capital of Canada. They began their day visiting the Queen's representative, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada and His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond. They stayed on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the Governor General's residence and the usual place for them to stay when in Ottawa.

Later on the couple met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen. As 'Four Canadian Rangers stood guard in their trademark red sweaters' the two couples chatted. The PM handed the Prince two Ranger caps and sweaters for his sons, declaring them honorary members. The Prince chuckled and said 'I hope they fit' to which Mrs Harper replied 'One size fits all.'

Now, is that before or after they're washed? Oh nevermind..

The prince later met Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who in a 1992 article in the Montreal Gazette had written "Now is the time for the republican tradition in Britain to find its voice again". On this visit he voiced no such sentiment to Prince Charles' face. Maybe he realized that this is one of those inside your head thoughts.

Charles and Camilla then departed for Montréal, Quebec where they met with the Premier of Québec, the Honourable Jean Charest and Mme Michèle Dionne, where they received an Inuit sculpture and a collection of Quebec DVDs.

But were they in Region 2 format? Oh, nevermind...

Afterwards they toured the headquarters of the Cirque du Soleil, watching a brief acrobatic performance and touring the workshops where costumes and props are made.

Charles later received a dramatic welcome when he visited the headquarters of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada - a regiment he inherited as colonel-in-chief after the death of the Queen Mother. The riot squad was busy with 200 egg hurtling demonstrators (or 150 depending on who's counting...) 'brandishing signs with slogans such as Down With the Monarchy'...'Ottawa Leave Quebec, and Cultural Genocide, R.I.P.' and "Majesty Go Home!"

Psst - Maybe it's a bit premature to bring that sign out.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Charles and Camilla's Royal Tour - Day 7 & 8

On Day 7 - Sunday - instead of resting, they attended a remembrance service at Christ Church Cathedral. While there they dedicated a stained glass window 'commemorating the 80th anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral and the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of British Columbia'. Shortly before they went inside they mingled with the 200 people who'd waited outside of the Church for them. Then the couple spent the rest of their Sunday privately.


On Monday (Day 8) it was back to work for them as they participated in a ceremony 'honouring the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy, which occurs 2010, at CFB Esquimalt'. Charles, dressed for the occasion in a Canadian Naval uniform in his capacity as honorary vice-admiral. During the visit, to mark his 32 years of honorary service, Charles received a 'second clasp' to his Canadian Forces decoration. 'Prince Charles said he wears his Canadian medal “with great pride all the time,” and was “touched, flattered, honoured” to receive the complementing clasp.'

No comment from the non-honorary people who are working towards earning their medals.

This was their last stop in Victoria before leaving for Ottawa.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 6

Day 6 was a Saturday. You'd think that Charles and Camilla would get the day off but no such luck. I can only imagine the jet lag and having to deal with the difference in provincial time zones on top of it - must wreak havoc on their systems. Having said that, the Queen still does tours at the ripe age of 83, so Charles and Camilla probably dare not complain.

On this day the couple had a walkabout in Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Village, posed with a Sasquatch and Olympic mascots and yet again unveiled a plaque. Even if most Canadians aren't paying attention, future generations will know about their tour by following the commemorative plaques they leave in their wake.

Unlike in previous public appearances, Camilla wore a colorful outfit - a lightweight powder blue coat - which turned out to be completely inadequate for the cold rainy weather. She planted a tree at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens and brought with her a collection of seeds from native British Columbian plants that were housed in the Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanical Garden Kew. In return, Van Dusen Gardens gave the duchess a collection of different seeds to bring back to the seed bank.

But the seeds are not the only thing they will bring back with them as they also received traditional aboriginal blankets and talking sticks. Also some red mittens, scarves, gumboots and custom raincoats - which would have been useful to receive earlier in the day.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 5

Charles and Camilla began their day at 'The Royal' arriving in a horse drawn open carriage. "Nothing could give me greater pleasure than to declare the 87th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair officially open," the prince said to a crowd of 'thousands'. Camilla was presented with a leather western style horse saddle while the Prince received a basket of maple syrup and honey - which he can compare to his own Duchy Originals brand.

The couple toured the fair, presenting championship ribbons to delighted young teen winners of the Queen's Guineas beef cattle competition. Then Charles was off to surprise people in the cattle barn while Camilla toured the kennels and visited fair kiosks to do some shopping for her grandchildren. In a woman of the people move Camilla paid for her purchases with money from her purse. Yes, some of the royals do indeed carry money!

The couple then jetted off to Victoria, British Columbia for yet another official welcoming ceremony.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

Question: Charles and Camilla's poppies


I have noticed in many pictures of Charles and Camilla that they are both wearing two poppies. Is this a royal thing? Does it mean something special?


Since Charles and Camilla first arrived in Canada on most public appearances they have worn two poppies. This has been the subject of a great deal of curiousity. Why the two poppies? What does it mean?

The two poppies that the couple are wearing are the British paper version and the Canadian one. The design of the Canadian poppy consists of petals made of red plastic with a felt lining and black centre held on by a pin. The British paper version is sold by the Royal British Legion through their annual Poppy Appeal. Some have suggested that by wearing the two poppies they are making a symbolic gesture of support for British and Canadian veterans.

Poppies became a symbol of Rememberance after the poem In Flanders Fieldcommemorated the flower. It was written in 1915 by a Canadian doctor named John McCrae after he witnessed the death of a friend. During the funeral McCrae noticed wild poppies blooming between the graves and this inspired his famous poem. After its publication it became the most popular poem of the First World War. In part because of its popularity, the poppy was adopted as the Flower of Remembrance for the war dead of Britain, France, the United States, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday November 8, 2009 - The Canadian Royal Tour

Upon arrival in Canada, which royal called Canada 'truly deplorable'? Who was the first female member of the royal family to visit? Was the price tag still on Prince Phillip's jeans when he took part in a square dance in Canada?

Listen to this episode to find out.

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 149 9 November 2009

Website and Blog mentioned

World of Royalty
World of Royalty Blog
The Official Site of the Prince of Wales

Documentaries discussed

Charles - The Passionate Prince - Viewable online

Prince William and Prince Harry: Into the future

Resources used

Canada's Queen by Patti Tasko

The Queen's Tour of Canada Souvenir Edition by Trevor Hall

Fifty Years the Queen Arthur Bousfield & Garry Toffoli

Charles and Diana visit Canada by David Levenson and Trevor Hall

Royal Canada - A History of Royal visits since 1786 - by Trevor Hall

Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family in Canada (Golden Jubilee) - Stewart House Publishing

Tune in live to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday November 15th, 2009 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: In honor of the Prince of Wales & the Duchess of Cornwall's visit to Canada, a look back at Canadian Royal Tours - Part Two!

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 4

Charles and Camilla started the day by going home. Err, sort of. They visited historic Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario. The 72 room castle - which is more like a large mansion - was built by Camilla's great-great-great grandfather Sir Allan MacNab, Prime Minister of the United Provinces of Canada from 1854-56.

Upon arrival they were met by what must have been the largest crowd they'd encountered during their tour: more than 400 people. Possibly more than the rest of the people that greeted them in Newfoundland and Labrador combined. See? It pays to come to a province that people have heard of.

As they toured the castle I can only imagine the running commentary in Charles' head as he tries to keep a straight face. I'm reminded of the classic words of Crocodile Dundee which I'm paraphrasing - 'that's not a castle, now THIS (opening his wallet and pointing at a photo of Windsor) is a castle.' Charles tactfully kept these thoughts to himself while waving from the balcony of Dundurn.

The couple then went to tour HMCS Haida, a former military ship. During the tour Camilla gave us the ultimate crazy cat lady/bad hair day photograph. Or if she ever loses her mind, photographic proof when it started.

The couple also unveiled a plaque for future generations of royals to be photographed reading.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 3 Continued

Charles and Camilla arrive in Toronto! (AKA the centre of the Canadian universe).

The couple, who flew in from Newfoundland and no doubt exhausted from the tree planting and the touring archeological digs, looked alert as they arrived at Pearson International Airport. Upon arrival they had a private meeting with local and provincial dignitaries. Doesn't Camilla look excited!

Later on in the afternoon the couple then went their separate ways with Charles going off to attend a conference which nobody paid attention to. Meanwhile, in another part of the city, Camilla was touring the Royal Conservatory of Music. Shortly before she left, she paused to read a plaque commemorating a 1901 visit from another Duke and Duchess of Cornwall - the future King George V and Queen Mary. Whoever originally put the plaque up can now feel vindicated that there are people who still stop read it.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 3

Camilla isn't the only person on the tour making a fashion statement. On day 3 of the tour the couple were greeted by Newfoundland and Labrador's Lieutenant-Governor John Crosbie who wore a sealskin coat; characterized as a "statement" in support of the annual seal kill. John Crosbie's 'sartorial' choice drew ire from animal rights activists who were still frothed up about Camilla's rabbit fur scarf. Like PETA, Mr Crosbie knows something about promoting his own cause.

Now where was I? Oh yes, Charles and Camilla!

During their visit to Government-House the couple planted a pair of oak trees. A tradition dating back to the 1939 royal visit when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) did the same.

The couple also visited the St. John's War Memorial where Prince Charles laid a wreath at a ceremony to remember Newfoundland and Labrador's war dead. At the ceremony seven year old Matthew Lucas, whose father died in Afghanistan, put his arms around Camilla's neck and kissed her.

See Camilla, contrary to what the media have reported, there are people who care about your visit.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 2

Day 2 of Charles and Camilla's Royal Tour began with a visit to Cupids Bay, Newfoundland; a name which conjures up images of making-out (*Shudder*). A 'noticibly thin' crowd of about 75 (or 57 depending on which reporter is counting) enthusiastically welcomed them.

Cupids Bay is the birthplace of the English prescence in Canada. Originally settled in 1610 it was rediscovered in the 1990's. During their tour an archeologist showed them a coin unearthed from the dig site while Premier Danny Williams and The Prime Minister - speechless - looked on.

On this day of the tour Camilla 'earned the wrath' of animal rights activists by keeping herself warm with a rabbit fur stole, topping off her stylish green tweed outfit with a hat that had a fake fur trim. Ignoring the hat, PETA used the opportunity to state: 'the Duchess is out of step with public opinion.' Geez, if Camilla tried to please the public, PETA wouldn't have her to criticize now would they? No use starting now! Camilla can take heart that pro-hunt Canadians whole heartedly 'approved' of her choice.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour - Day 1

Charles and Camilla arrived on Canadian soil on Monday November 2nd in St. John's, Newfoundland. Where a 'large crowd, including dignitaries and the RCMP' welcomed them. They were greeted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General Michaelle Jean and St. John's and Labrador Premier Danny Williams.

The couple walked the red carpet and attended a 'moving' one hour ceremony in a half filled arena. During which the Prime Minister 'plagiarized' one of Charles' earlier speeches which has been seen as a 'massive screw-up' on the part of Harper's office.

We can only hope Charles and Camilla's tour will recover from this bad omen.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Charles and Camilla's Canadian Royal Tour Coverage

Well, Charles and Camilla have arrived in Canada and by the lack of coverage and enthusiasm you'd think they'd made a one hour stop over on their way to a warmer climate. Maybe we take the royals for granted, they're on our currency so seeing them in person is no big deal.

This visit, Charles 15th and Camilla's first, should receive more coverage, because it should have the curiosity factor - 'ah, that's what the third person in Diana's marriage looks like.' So far it hasn't but it doesn't hurt Charles. Let's be honest, Charles is not the drawing card he once was. And during his first visit in 1970 he had his parents and sister with him to guarantee people would come out. With the exception of the Queen, Charles on tour works better as a double-act. Bring someone attactive or higher ranking with him and he can't lose. Arrive by himself and, well who really cares, right? The minor royals suffer this indignity all of the time. Edward and Sophie were in our midst in June and had Hello! Canada not shown photos I wouldn't have been any the wiser. It's that bad.

So I'm taking control of this deplorable state of affairs and doing my own coverage. Or as much as I can do without actually accompanying them on tour. Forgive me for being a few days behind - they're already on Day 3! But I shall try to make up for it.

Stay tuned!

© Marilyn Braun 2009