Prince Charles meets with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
King Charles and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are “good friends who see eye to eye on a lot of important issues,” according to the country’s High Commissioner.
Ralph Goodale, who previously served as Mr Trudeau’s Minister for Public Safety, said Ukraine, climate change and biodiversity are on the agenda during their calls.
Canada is preparing to celebrate the Coronation throughout the year as it plans for a royal visit in 2024 to celebrate the new King, who once said “a little more of Canada seeps into my bloodstream — and from there straight to my heart.”
Mr Goodale said: “I’m glad in a way that expression carries many of the feelings that his mother had about Canada, she visited Canada 22 times, which is more than any other country in all of her travels.
“King Charles has been there already, not as King but as the Prince of Wales 18 times so he’s very familiar with the country, he has gone diving under the polar ice cap and has gone through a lot of the green trails and the camping areas.
“His expression is really very good, it captures your heart just by the vastness of it all, the natural beauty and that huge diversity that is so apparent in its rugged domain and very interesting, complicated people – that vast diversity is its great strength.”
The King first visited Canada in 1970 and his ties remain strong with the country’s Prime Minister.
Mr Goodale added: “I think they are really good friends who see eye to eye on a lot of important issues and who also appreciate the rigours of being in the public eye.
“There is always a good laugh about something that has happened to them in the last week or month.
“They are both technical experts on IT and so forth, they make the systems – they come together on a frequent basis on things they are both interested in.
“They talk about global affairs on Ukraine and the challenges in the Pacific and they also talk about climate change and biodiversity and loss of habitat and certainly talk about indigenous issues.
“He’s a teacher (Trudeau), so he knows his history and he knows the tradition where the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom meets with the monarch weekly.
“The monarch is also the monarch of Canada so while it probably can’t be on a weekly basis, he does believe a regular dialogue is a valuable part of the relationship and a useful part of governance.”
Mr Trudeau in his tribute to the late Queen described her as “one of my favourite people in the world.” Mr Goodale, of their relationship, said: “It was remarkable.”
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In the image of their final audience together, following the coronavirus pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, she wore blue and yellow and had flowers of that hue in the room in a nod to Kyiv.
Mr Goodale said it was a memorable image and added: “The look on his face and the look on her face was so intense and so much in the family.”
The Prime Minister of Canada has ruled out a referendum on the monarchy and Mr Goodale indicated that debate was part of the fabric of its society.
“Those constitutional debates have been quite tough,” he said during the interview at Canada House.
“When a dominant personality like Her Majesty who passes away and is replaced by His Majesty there is bound to be debate and discussion.
“Where the discussion typically flounders and runs out of steam is when it gets to the point of change to what.
“There is just no discernible agreement on change to what – it’s the kind of change that would need unanimous consent.
“I don’t think anyone can remember a time when that was accomplished.”
Canada will be at the heart of the Coronation with the presence of five Mounties and will have the highest number of military taking part from outside the UK along with the only two members of the orchestra from outside of Britain.
They will also have their delegation led by the Prime Minister, which will include the Governor-General, two astronauts, scientists, Order of Canada and Order of Valour recipients, along with indigenous leaders and young people.
“Canada will be strongly participating,” he said.
“On Saturday morning in Canada, there will be a Coronation celebration event in Ottawa and in a number of provincial capitals and there will be special church services taking place on the Sunday.
“There will be a focus on Saturday, but these will continue to run through ways throughout the year.”
He said next year King Charles and Queen Camilla would be heading to Canada in the same year that the new trade agreement with Britain is due to be rubber-stamped, which will see small businesses prioritised in a bid to ensure both economies flourish.
“We are beginning the planning for the first royal visit, with His Majesty visiting as Prince of Wales last year and the diary being quite full already the focus is on 2024.
“We are looking at dates and options.
“Thought will have to be taken on exactly when and exactly where because of Canada’s notorious weather.”
A King Charles exhibit has been unveiled in Canada House in London, which reflects on his visits to the country.
Mr Goodale said: “There are two or three artefacts from his collection which are on display for the first time.”
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