Prince Charles and his consort, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are due to arrive in Canada today to begin an 11 day royal visit. It is, apparently, his 15th visit, but her first. He is anxious, the newspapers say, to show off Canada to his new wife because of the great affection he feels to Canada and Canadians.
I suggest that, if Charles really wants to show off Canada to Camilla, he should take her to a lacrosse game. Preferrably in a dank, small-town arena in, say, Orangeville or on the Six Nations Reserve. After the game, they could head off to a Kelsey's or Jack Astor's for some nachos and beers, being very carefull to have a designated driver. Then, when they're home or at their hotel, they could settle in for good night of watching the Rick Mercer Report or the very unfunny This Hour Has 22 Minutes. The next morning, when they're off for another round of sight seeing, they should be sure to start their day with large double-doubles and maybe a pumpkin spice muffin or a breakfast BELT under their belts. Ahhh, now that's Canada.
Seriously, though, should any of us care about this? The fact that these two people are to become my sovereigns in the future makes me cringe. Does Canada need the British monarchy any more? I know all about our British heritage and the fact that our government is modelled after British institutions. But haven't we outgrown that in 2009? The monarchy has as much revelence as teaching modern high school students the proper use of a slide rule: it was once necessary, but , now, who needs to have it?
I have no problems with Charles or Camilla themselves. I've always liked Charles. When he was a young guy, he came across as a type of "action man". He always liked sports, travel, and dating good looking women... and he got paid for it !!! Today, he comes across as slightly eccentric, but he seems to care about such things as the environment, the state of cities in Britain, the state of youth in the world, and sustainable and environmentally friendly farming. Nothing wrong with all that. And, as for Camilla, well we all know that she was the "other woman", but the fact is that she made Charles fall out of love with Diana ( if he ever was in love with her at all ) and, for that, Camilla deserves some credit. I mean, come on, Diana was a sweetheart, but Camilla found her way into Charles' bed and heart, presumably because of her love of horses. To this, I say "giddyup"!
Nor do I have a problem with the fact that they are British. Hell, I'm British by birth, and I still have wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins with their children living in Britain. I like my British heritage, but the essential thing is that I no longer need it to identify myself. I am a Canadian citizen, have been since I was 18, and I'm extremely proud of that. I tell my British relatives that I am a Canadian, and they understand that. I have British friends here, and at our local pub, we tease each other about the fact that I'm a "traitor" to my British roots, but we laugh it off. I have traveled to, literally, all parts of Canada, including 2 trips to the Canadian Arctic. I love this country and I will die here and be buried here. I don't need Britain any more.
So, Charles and Camilla will hopefully understand why the crowds might be a little small when they travel across Canada. We've grown up, we are our own country, comprised of several nations. If we need a monarchy to guide us, can we not at least chose one? I humbly suggest that we invite the Swedish royal family to rule us. The next Queen of Sweden will be Princess Victoria, and her sister is Princess Madeleine. They are a couple of kittens, and I think Canada would be proud to have them as our royal family.
So, when Charles and Camilla land today, I suggest we shout three cheers for them: Hip hip, who cares? Hip hip, who cares? Hip hip, who cares?