Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom said it was emotional to be received by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but added that the new monarch was clearly prepared for the moment. this.
The King met with the Commonwealth’s secretary general on Sunday before hosting a reception with the UK foreign minister and high commissioners from those countries, including Canada.
In an interview in London with CTV News Anchor Director and Senior Editor Omar Sachedina, Ralph Goodale said that the King was “very calm, very collected, [and] well organized. “
“[He is] someone, I think, someone has had occasion to think about this for quite some time. So he was prepared,” said Goodale.
Queen Elizabeth II, sovereign of the United Kingdom, Canada and other Commonwealth countries since 1952, died on September 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She is 96 years old.
Her coffin left Balmoral Castle by hearse on Saturday for the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. It will be flown to London on September 13 ahead of a state funeral on September 19.
Regarding the Canadian presence at the funeral, Goodale said “according to the rules of etiquette” there were three “official mourners” – Governor-General, Prime Minister and High Commissioner.
“It is now clear that more than three Canadians will attend the funeral, but details of all of that are still being provided by Buckingham Palace,” he said.
Goodale said he felt “a combination of so many different emotions” inside Buckingham Palace following the Queen’s death.
“This hasn’t happened in 70 years and an era is changing from one era to another, so history is being made,” he said. “So there’s this kind of feeling that you’re part of the historical process.”
Goodale recalled being at Buckingham Palace just a few months earlier, celebrating the Platinum Jubilee. Now, he says there is a real sense of grief for people in the UK
“The huge personality you see every day on stamps, on money and on the news, in books and suddenly, she’s no longer there,” he said.
Goodale said the Queen has been a dominant presence in UK people’s lives for more than 70 years.
“These people won’t be here [at Buckingham Palace] if they weren’t so impressed by those seven decades and the Queen’s selflessness; sense of duty and service and dignity and honor that she showed in everything she did in her life,” he said.
“Always put duty and responsibility above her comfort or self-interest – I think people admire that. They’re grateful for that.”
Goodale said similar emotions can also be felt in citizens across the Commonwealth.
“Her impact is really hard to measure. It’s huge and that will make the challenge even bigger for her successor. Prince Charles, now King Charles, has a huge pair of shoes. to fill,” said Goodale. “At the same time, he has the best tutor he could hope for.”
Beyond feelings of grief and loss, Goodale said there’s a lot to look forward to as King Charles III’s reign begins.
“There’s also a sense of excitement about the new monarch, someone we thought we knew but now he has the shell of real responsibility,” he said.
While it is not yet known when or where the King will make his first voyage as sovereign, Goodale expects him to be a “fairly frequent visitor” to Canada.
“Look at the record: The Queen has visited Canada 22 times, more than any other country, and in the same time period, Prince Charles, now King Charles, has visited Canada 19 times,” he said. , including last spring”.
Goodale said he and the King discussed his most recent trip to Canada, where he and Camila, now Queen Consort, visited St. John’s, Ottawa and Yellowknife.
“I think he appreciates the opportunity to be in Canada and he appreciates the reception he’s received, recognizing that there are issues for the future that need to be addressed,” Goodale said.
He said these issues include the future of the monarchy, the future of the Commonwealth and the future relationship between Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Crown.
He added: “Treaties have been entered into with Crown – not with any government – with Crown, and that relationship is an extremely important one for the indigenous peoples.
While the King has previously said he wants to modernize the monarchy, Goodale said he was under the impression that he would make the effort to do so, but also ensure the legacy of his mother’s reign remains intact. whole.
“He will want to demonstrate the suitability of the monarchy by being present and not aloof in the palace, but on the ground with those who are conversing, but equally important, listening and then chat with other people who need to get the message across,” he said.