The heir to the English throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles are visiting Canada from May 17 to 19. They are called “working Royals.” These are members of the British Royal Family who live off the wealth produced by the British working people and Crown holdings, and on this basis are paid to represent the Royal Family. The Trudeau government’s ministry called Heritage Canada announced that they are visiting three cities — St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It is all part of a ” platinum jubilee tour” to mark the current monarch’s 70 years on the English throne. The so-called working members of the British royal family have been dispatched to visit the 14 Commonwealth “realms” — former British colonies that retain the British monarch as their official head of state. These “Platinum Jubilee” tours have so far taken different members of the House of Windsor to six Caribbean countries, Australia and Papua New Guinea, and now, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have arrived in Canada.
Media reported that Charles says he especially wants to “learn from Indigenous peoples how to live in and care for nature and the planet.” This would be the Indigenous peoples the representatives of the Crown have been committing genocide against since Britain began acquiring territory in what is now Canada in the 1600s. The names of British aristocrats, generals and “discoverers” pepper the landscape to this day, despite the crimes they committed.
Such is the case of Lord Jeffery Amherst, commanding general of British forces in North America during the final battles of the so-called French and Indian wars (1754-1763). Along with his replacement, General Thomas Gage, he instructed that small-pox-contaminated blankets be distributed to Indigenous tribes which were striving to remain free. The street in Montreal named after him was finally changed to Atateken Street, which means “brothers and sisters” in the Mohawk language and signifies equality between people. The people of Halifax also got the statue and name of Edward Cornwallis removed from a park in Halifax and renamed it Peace and Friendship Park. As Governor of Nova Scotia, Cornwallis put a bounty on the scalp of every Mi’kmaq man, woman and child in Nova Scotia. But these changes are the exception, fought for by Canadians and Quebeckers until they won.
The last time this couple was in Canada in 2017 to “mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation with Canadians,” their visit took them to Ontario, Nunavut, and the National Capital Region. In Iqaluit, they were filmed laughing in the faces of two skilled young Inuit traditional throat singers who performed at a welcome ceremony. All the attempts to disappear the evidence of their boorish racist behaviour cannot change the fact that the monarchy and its medieval institutions should be dismantled and all pretence that the members of the so-called royal family have relevance should be discarded.
Renewal Update, posted May 18, 2022.