OTTAWA — She may not quite press anyone’s flesh, but the Queen could get face time with tens of thousands of Canadians when she tours the country starting later this month.
Walkabouts will be an important element of a nine-day visit to Canada by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, which begins June 28, say officials overseeing her busy schedule.
The Queen will also mark the Canadian Navy’s 100th anniversary.
“One of the key elements of the tour will be celebrations marking the centennial of the Canadian Navy and its proud record of service to the country,” says her official itinerary.
“And, by extension, the greater cause of peace.”
In Halifax, the Queen will present a prestigious Maritime Heritage Award for the HMCS Haida, honouring the last remaining example of the 27 Tribal Class destroyers built for the Royal Canadian Navy between 1937 and 1945.
She will also tour Canada’s east coast navy base, CFB Halifax, and review Atlantic Fleet.
Next stop will be Ottawa, where the Queen will tour the newly refurbished Canadian Museum of Nature and unveil a statue of Oscar Peterson at the National Arts Centre before hitting the streets of the capital.
Upwards of 100,000 people are expected to turn out on Parliament Hill on July 1, where the Queen will join in Canada Day celebrations.
It’s the first time in 13 years that Her Majesty has taken part in Canada Day festivities in Ottawa.
In honour of her walkabout ways, Manitoba will present the Queen with a painting of her taking a stroll in a rural area of that province 40 years ago.
While in Winnipeg, she will unveil the cornerstone for the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which is expected to be opened in 2012.
Her Majesty is expected to give four speeches while on Canadian soil, in Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Toronto.
She will also tour the offices of Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, in Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo region and tour a film studio in Toronto.
Highlights of her visit to Toronto include going to the track for the Queen’s Plate — a horse race she and her husband Prince Philip have attended often, including the 100th such competition in 1959.
The tour begins in Nova Scotia on June 28 and will wrap up July 6 when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh depart Toronto for New York.