Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall began the second day of their royal tour Friday at Canada’s largest air force base, where they greeted members of the military and honored soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Charles took part in a search and rescue demonstration Friday before he met with families of the soldiers.
The couple then witnessed a commemoration service and wreath-laying at the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial near the base. Between 2001 and 2014, 158 members of the Canadian Armed Forces lost their lives in Afghanistan.
The royal visit by Charles and his wife, Camilla, will culminate in Ottawa on Saturday as Canada marks its 150th birthday. It is the 18th trip to Canada for the Prince of Wales. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies.
The royal couple also stopped to meet with local residents who lined a path near the memorial. Many held small Canadian flags in their hands. Mackenzie Stribling met the royals with her three kids.
“I don’t even think I have words for it,” she said. “It’s something I never thought I would do, especially with my children.”
Charles and his wife proceeded to the Wellington Farmer’s Market in Prince Edward County, where they were met with cheers and stopped to talk with hundreds of people lining the streets. They also chatted with vendors and artisans and planned to visit a local winery.
Governor General David Johnston, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative as Canada’s head of state, announced that the Prince of Wales has been appointed to the extraordinary companion category of the Order of Canada in recognition of his support for Canadian charitable activities and for the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces. It is one of the highest honors in the country.
Charles is expected to receive the honor Saturday morning in Ottawa.