Wednesday, June 30, 2010
He probably deserved a mental-health break after hosting back-to-back summits and the stress of smelling smoke from smoldering police cruisers a block away, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper beelined to Halifax to meet Queen Elizabeth II even before the G20 fence was down.
He joined Her Majesty for two events after her arrival on Monday and participated in three more on Tuesday. He was beaming uncharacteristically during her flotilla inspection in Halifax Harbour to a series of hip-hip-hoorays from assembled sailors.
Mr. Harper will join her at a garden party in Ottawa on Wednesday, stand beside her on Parliament Hill for Canada Day festivities and follow her to every city on her nine-day tour, claiming the royal limelight for himself after dispatching the Governor-General to China.
This is one monarchist Prime Minister — clearly a fan of the only Queen he’s ever known — who takes standing on guard for her position very seriously.
When the Governor-General had the gall to suggest she was Canada’s head of state, Michaëlle Jean was quickly corrected. She’s only the representative, not the real thing, Mr. Harper publicly declared.
And now Mr. Harper has reportedly assembled a committee of monarchists to search for a suitable person to serve as the next vice-regal, although it might be a symbolic gesture because I’m told the choice has been made and an announcement imminent.
Her Majesty has sent messages of condolences to the families of our honoured soldiers.
She was welcomed by Native Canadians. Watch here.
I would loved to see the ceremony honouring the Royal Canadian navy. Watch here.
Many more wonderful photos here. More on the tour here
Tips on Royal Protocol