Prince Charles Canada controversy: Future King urged to ‘acknowledge’ indigenous struggle

Prince Charles and Camilla depart plane for Canada visit

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Charles, 73, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 74, have touched down on their three-day tour of Canada today. The couple are representing the Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year to commemorate her 70 years on the throne. Canada is still one of 15 realms of the Commonwealth, including the UK, where the monarch is head of state. The Prince of Wales is set to speak about the strong bonds between Canada and the UK, as well as the “profound affection” the Queen feels for the North American nation.

However, the Prince also faces calls to address the historic violence and abuses that have been perpetrated against hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in Canada.

Marlene Koenig, a royal historian, has said the Queen’s son should “acknowledge” the country’s dark history.

The US-based writer and librarian has researched Britain’s Royal Family for more than 40 years.

Speaking to, she said: “There are certain issues to be addressed.

“Certainly, there should be a statement.

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“The British monarchy was not responsible for that.

“But that said, it is something that should be acknowledged, and I expect Charles will do that.”

Indigenous groups in Canada have already called on Charles and Camilla to acknowledge the harm inflicted by British colonialism.

Clarence House has confirmed the couple’s trip will focus on indigenous reconciliation efforts.

However, representatives of Canada’s First Nations people have gone further by demanding Charles apologise on the Queen’s behalf over the scandal at residential schools.

Last year, hundreds of human remains were found at former schools that had been administered by the Church.

At least 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families from 1831 onwards.

The grim process, which took place while Canada was still a British colony, was dubbed “cultural genocide” by investigators.

Up until the 1970s, indigenous children were raped, abused and suffered other abuses at the Christian institutions.

Last summer, statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II were toppled by demonstrators in protest at the historic treatment of indigenous people.

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The Canadian government issued a formal apology over the treatment of indigenous people in 2008.

Charles and Camilla’s visit comes after recent criticism of other royal tours, including that made by Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge to the Caribbean in March.

Residents of some island nations opposed the couple’s visit, while in Jamaica, they were met by calls for the monarchy to pay reparations over its historic role in slavery there.

Ms Koenig claimed that Charles and Camilla are unlikely to face protests on the same scale while in Canada.

She said: “I don’t think they will face the same type of demonstrations.

She added: “I think it is going to be very, very different.

“I think if William and Catherine went, I think it would give even more coverage. Here you have two older people going on a tour.”

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