Prince Charles and his wife Camilla left a down-to-earth impression with many of their admirers in Regina on Wednesday, as they wrapped up a final and more subdued leg in their three-day tour of Canada.
They stopped at an herb garden, watched aboriginal drumming and dancing at First Nations University, and the prince got a lesson in the mechanics of waste water treatment at a local business.
The sunshine that followed them on their first two days in Canada didn’t last, however, and the drizzle that persisted through the day may have contributed to some smaller crowds.
Regina resident Andrea Lee said Charles stopped to say hello to her on his way into Saskatchewan’s Legislative Assembly Wednesday morning, and thanked her for waiting for him despite the rain.
“He is just so amazingly friendly and personable. He had no problem talking to people,” she said. “And when your hands are cold it’s really nice to shake a warm hand.”
Inside the Legislative Assembly, Prince Charles presented six service awards to Saskatchewan residents in honour of their service to the province. The Diamond Jubilee medals are being handed out to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years as monarch.
Charles trumpeted the theme of service to community repeatedly during his three-day trip, which included stops at two Toronto charities he’s involved with and several meetings with veterans and members of the military.
“Over the past three days, I can say from the heart that we have both been incredibly moved by the stories of the literally hundreds and hundreds of Canadians we have met who have selflessly served their communities without thought of recognition or thanks,” Charles said after the Diamond Jubilee presentations in Regina.
“We have been inspired by the sheer energy and enthusiasm of everyone we have met – and by the quite remarkable things they have achieved.”
After the ceremony, Charles and Camilla took their time chatting with the service-award nominees and winners.
“It was exciting. He was really down to earth,” said Todd Blyth, 19, who won an award for his work as president of a local community association.
The tour moved at a slower pace on Wednesday than it had in Toronto, and some of the prince’s aides appeared more relaxed as they watched him move through the crowd.
At First Nations University, the couple was met by university officials and chiefs clad in brightly coloured feather headdresses. They watched drumming and dancing performances and chatted with some of the students.
Charles held a private sit-down with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, before the two settled in alongside Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall for a concert by the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
With files from The Canadian Press