Protesters voice their opposition to Charles and Camilla visiting Quebec (photo gallery)

About 100 demonstrators, some waving Fleur-de-lis flags, gathered in downtown Montreal on Tuesday to voice their opposition to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, setting foot in Quebec.

Prince Charles greets well wishers following a visit to the Cirque du Soleil headquarters in Montreal on Tuesday.

MONTREAL — About 100 demonstrators, some waving Fleur-de-lis flags, gathered in downtown Montreal on Tuesday to voice their opposition to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, setting foot in Quebec.

“I’m here to support democracy,” Normand Cossette said in an interview. “I think a monarch is an obsolete institution and it’s not democratic.

“I’m here to speak in favour of democracy, republics and power to the people, not power to the monarchy.”

The protesters were milled near the headquarters of the Black Watch, where Charles was to arrive later to present new colours to the regiment and meet with recent Afghan veterans.

Some waved signs bearing the following slogans: Down With the Monarchy, Ottawa Leave Quebec, and Cultural Genocide, R.I.P.

Another demonstrator, who identified himself as Max Hydrogen, said it is “ridiculous” that the monarchy still exists in Canada.

“It’s time that we get rid of it and replace it with a republic and have an elected Senate and an elected president.”

Earlier in the day, the royal couple faced a friendlier audience when they met with Premier Jean Charest and his wife, Michele Dionne.

In his fluent French, Charles thanked the premier for the gift of an Inuit sculpture and a collection of Quebec films on DVD. Charest pointed to one film in particular — “La Grande seduction” — as his favourite. The film is about a small remote Quebec community trying to get a doctor.

A heavy police presence geared up to ensure the royal couple’s safety. Several dozen cops on motorcycles rolled in to stand guard outside Charest’s office.

But the crowd outside consisted almost exclusively of well-wishers and star-gazers. Several dozen people, many of them toting cameras, excitedly waited outside in anticipation of snapping a photo of the arriving couple.

They cheered heartily when the prince arrived.

“I’m here to see the show — that’s all,” said Claudine Lefort, who works up the street at McGill University. She was walking by on her lunch break and decided to wait for the visitors.

There was one lone protester at the first event: one man, holding up a Quebec flag, with a T-shirt that said: Quebec Un Pays (Quebec A Country). He got into a heated exchange with a journalist from Toronto when the reporter tried asking questions in English — and he refused to answer.

The couple’s next activity was a trip to the Cirque du soleil headquarters where they attended a brief performance by acrobats, chatted with performers and took a whirlwind tour of workshops where costumes and props are made.

The royal couple chatted quietly with artisans, often smiling and asking questions about their work.

Charles and Camilla seemed particularly impressed with a selection of masks on display as they entered one workshop.

After the performance, they stopped by a studio for a few minutes where they watched a couple of performers having their makeup applied.

The duchess quizzed the makeup artists, asking how long it took to apply the intricate designs.

The couple were greeted with smiles, large groups of workers and often cheers as they toured.

The royal tour is scheduled to be in Petawawa, Ont., and Ottawa on Wednesday for Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month