REGINA — Prince Charles and his wife Camilla received a warm welcome from a few hundred people who gathered in the wind and rain to greet them at the Saskatchewan legislature Wednesday.
The royal couple, each carrying an umbrella against the wet, took a few moments to shake hands and meet with some of the well-wishers.
Charles braved the weather without a jacket over his grey suit, but the Duchess of Cornwall was wearing a smart off-white coat over a blue Fiona Claire dress.
Renae Grubb of Regina stood outside in the wind and rain to see the royal couple. A British flag tucked into her ball cap frantically waved in the wind.
“I’m very cold,” she said. “But it was worth it.”
Grubb got to meet the Queen when she visited Regina in 2005 and wanted to snap some photos to commemorate this visit, too.
Charles and his wife then entered the building where they were accompanied to the chamber for the official greeting from Premier Brad Wall.
Wall joked about the bad weather and quipped about some of the things the province is known for: a long winter, lots of mosquitoes and the difficult spelling of the province’s name.
He also announced the renaming of the Prince of Wales scholarship to include the Duchess of Cornwall’s name.
Prince Charles, wearing the Order of Merit of Saskatchewan, then presented six Diamond Jubilee medals for service to community and country. The recipients represented several generations: from the young to a 91-year-old.
“Over the past three days, I can say from the heart that we have both been incredibly moved by the stories of the literally hundreds and hundreds of Canadians we have met who have selflessly served their communities without thought of recognition or thanks — whether it is running a breakfast club at their local school or teaching young people practical skills for future employment,” he said in remarks after the presentations.
“We have been inspired by the sheer energy and enthusiasm of everyone we have met — and by the quite remarkable things they have achieved.”
Mark Cooper of Saskatoon, a 12-year-old medal nominee, said he had been “freaking out” for days about meeting the prince.
“He said I got lucky to skip school … he seems like a really nice person.”
The prince also stooped down to meet 22-year-old Ashley Baerg as she sat in her wheelchair. Baerg, who lives in Dalmeny, outside of Saskatoon, was another medal nominee.
“I told him I play wheelchair basketball and he just asked me about the sport.”
The Prince of Wales also unveiled the design for the Black Rod which, as per parliamentary tradition, accompanies a lieutenant-governor into a legislative chamber. Saskatchewan is re-establishing that tradition and Charles presented a piece of oak from the Duchy of Cornwall, his private estates, that will become part of the rod.
“It is indeed a chip off the old block!” he declared.
The couple arrived in the Queen City — named after Queen Victoria — on Tuesday night.
While at the legislature they viewed artifacts from a time capsule that has been opened to mark the legislature’s 100th anniversary this year. They also unveiled a plaque commemorating the anniversary and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Later in the day, a drum group was scheduled to perform several songs at First Nations University.
Prince Charles was also to tour a company that has developed environmentally sustainable ways to clean up contaminated soil and water.
The couple was scheduled to end the day — and their visit to Canada — with a concert by the Regina Symphony Orchestra and a reception at the RCMP training academy with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.