MONTREAL (AFP) –
Queen Elizabeth II launched a nine-day visit to Canada on Monday,
although Quebec, where anti-British sentiment has lingered, was not on
"It is very good to be home," the queen told hundreds of Canadians
standing in blustery rain in hopes of catching a glimpse of Canada's
titular head of state.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed the queen, clad in a yellow hat and a raincoat over a yellow
suit, noting she had visited his country more than any other member of
the British Commonwealth of former colonies. ... [...]
"We are honored that you have given us so generously of your time," he
said, recalling that watching the monarch riding in her motorcade near
his childhood home in Ontario was one of his "earliest and fondest
During her 22nd official tour of Canada, the queen will preside over a
parade of naval warships in Nova Scotia. The Canadian vessels still bear
the initials HMCS -- Her Majesty's Canadian Ship. Her visit coincides
in part with the centennial of Canada's Navy.
For Canada Day on Thursday, she will travel to parliament in Ottawa and
deliver a speech as the country marks 143 years since it was
established. The 84-year-old monarch will also visit the government and
drop in on the newly refurbished Canadian Museum of Nature.
The queen, whose silhouette appears on Canadian coins, is visiting the
country with her husband Prince Philip.
She had much praise for the country she has witnessed modernize during
her tenure at the helm of the British throne.
"As queen of Canada for nearly six decades, my pride in this country
remains undimmed," she said.
During the last segment of her Canadian tour, she will travel to
Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she is expected to attend a horse race, and
then wrap up her tour in Toronto, where she is due to visit a high-tech
Queen Elizabeth then travels on to New York to address the United
Nations General Assembly on July 6 and visit the site where the World
Trade Center towers collapsed during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
A stop in Montreal is not in the cards, after her son Prince Charles had
an eventful royal visit in Quebec.
The heir to the throne
and his wife Camilla were met with egg tosses and shouts of "Majesty go
home" from more than 200 protesters who urged Montreal and Quebec to
break away from the British Commonwealth.