By Lauren Babuik, reporter
With the official theme of the 2011 Royal Tour of Canada named as “Moving Forward Together into the Future”, their Royal Highnesses Prince William and his bride Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, could not be better suited to personify this theme.
With the present visit of William and Kate, memories begin to surface of Prince Charles’ and Princess Diana’s first Canadian tour in 1983, an 18-day affair that included visits to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta.
The world had fallen in love with Diana when she married Charles in 1981, as did Canada as the royal couple historically crossed the nation, captivating politicians, musicians and the public alike.
My family’s love for the Royals dates back to when my grandmother listened to the 1947 wedding of Queen Elizabeth II to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on her radio, followed later by her coronation in 1953. It continued with my mother, as she was one of the many young Canadians to become captivated by Princess Diana while she watched her wedding to Charles on television.
The tradition continued on April 29th, 2011 when Kate Middleton married William, and yes, I was one of the crazy few to wake up at 3 a.m. in the morning to witness the historic event.
So with excitement afresh as Will and Kate enter Alberta on the last leg of their first official tour as husband and wife, parallels are inevitably drawn between Diana and Kate.
The previous generation has been most notably remembered for the tragedy surrounding it, specifically the untimely death of William’s mother, Princess Diana. William and his bride, however, have the rare opportunity to breathe new life into the public perception of the Royal Family.
So yes, it is an exciting event. It is exciting because it reminds us that the past is the past, and that with new community comes a new future.
It reminds us that with change and transformation in both Canadian and British societies whether at a Royal level or as pertaining to our own daily lives, comes new opportunity.
The presence of Will and Kate ushers in a new era for the royal family, an era of hope and an era of renewal.
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