Hudson the polar bear will have a royal visitor when Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in Winnipeg May 20 for a whirlwind two-day visit.
The heir to the throne will visit the Assiniboine Park Zoo on the second day of his trip to get a sneak peak of the Journey to Churchill exhibit before it opens to the public on July 3.
Margaret Redmond, president of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said the royal visit is a great opportunity to show off Manitoba to the world.
“We’re really pleased with the thought that even before Journey to Churchill opens, people all over the world will hear the story of its creation and meet Hudson,” Redmond said. “We think it’s a great opportunity for Manitoba to show off this great asset that’s about to be opened to the public.”
The exhibit will still be a construction site at that point but zoo officials will make sure the site is in the best shape possible for the visit, Redmond said.
“Journey to Churchill will still be a construction site at that point so there’s some challenges around making sure that the site is in the best shape,” Redmond said. ”The building that they will be touring will be completed but not all the grounds will so we’ll be focused on making the area as lovely as possible.”
While Charles heads to the zoo, Camilla will pay a visit to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet where she will take in a performance by ballet students and meet children from the ballet’s community outreach program.
“We are delighted that Her Royal Highness has included the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in her first visit to Winnipeg,” RWB artistic director Andre Lewis said in a statement. “This is a special time for the RWB as we launch our 75th anniversary season.”
The royal couple will also visit with students and staff at Red River College’s Stevenson Hangar, with the Prince of Wales expected to make a short speech at that time.
“We think it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for the students there to showcase what they’re learning and what they’re doing and for the Manitoba aerospace industry,” RRC spokesman Conor Lloyd said. “The students have an opportunity to meet royalty and as well the college has an opportunity to showcase one of its state-of-the-art facilities.”
Before leaving Winnipeg, the couple will head to the legislature to witness an Order of Manitoba ceremony for 14 Manitobans. Shortly thereafter, the couple will do a walkabout of the legislative grounds, which is likely the best — and last — opportunity for Manitobans to see them before they head to the airport to fly home that night.
THE ROYAL VISIT
Tuesday, May 20:
6:05 p.m. — Flight arrives at CFB Winnipeg.
6:40 p.m. — Attend Government House and “meet Canadians who have made a significant contribution to society.”
Wednesday, May 21:
10:20 a.m. — Tour Red River College’s Stevenson Hangar.
11:35 a.m. — Tour the Winnie the Pooh Gallery at the Pavilion Gallery Museum at Assiniboine Park.
12 p.m. — Charles visits the Journey to Churchill exhibit and meets Hudson the polar bear.
12:15 p.m. — Camilla visits the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
12:55 p.m. — Charles attends reception in St. Boniface to mark the opening of Place Bernadette Poirier.
1:45 p.m. — Charles visits Innovation Alley in the Exchange District.
2:50 p.m. — Charles visits RRC, meeting with representatives of the Canadian Business Network and attends a meeting on sustainable urban development.
6:05 p.m. — Camilla meets with members of the Queen’s Own Rifles Regiment at the Fairmont Hotel.
7 p.m. — The couple participates in the Order of Manitoba investiture at the legislature.
8 p.m. — Couple takes part in farewell ceremony with full military honours, a 21-gun salute, an inspection of the Guard of Honour, and a walkabout.
8:40 p.m. — Visit a recently restored 1928 Fokker Super Universal plane at CFB Winnipeg.
8:55 p.m. — Fly home from CFB Winnipeg.