Once again, the CBC has gone off track in their understanding of what royal tours are all about. "What," they ask in a 'Point of View' column, "does their choice of Canada for their first official tour say about the relationship between this country and the U.K.?"
We can't divorce the Canadian Crown from its British roots or from our Sovereign's obviously English "ethnicity." We can, however, distinguish between the British and Canadian Crowns, the latter of which has, over time, developed a character of its own. As the Prime Minister's statement implies, royal tours are designed to build upon this character. They aren't supposed to create the impression that Canada is still some sort of colony (Edward VIII's dedication of the Vimy Ridge monument in 1936 and his younger brother's Canadian tour of 1939 stand firmly in the way of such a suggestion). Nor, for that matter, are modern royal tours supposed to focus on diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, as though they were in shambles and needed work (the upcoming royal tour isn't like the Queen's recent tour of Ireland, for example). Although they have no constitutional function in Canada (yet), they will be expected to provide us with much-needed leadership beyond politics, especially in the aftermath of a heated election campaign.
I'm looking forward to this tour, but let's hope that the CBC doesn't ruin it for Canadians by approaching it from the wrong angle (e.g. "two British celebrities reminding us that we're not yet fully independent") or by focusing ONLY on dwindling crowds, Kate's wardrobe, etc. etc. etc.