Queen arrives in Halifax at start of nine-day Canadian tour

By Rob Gillies, AP
Monday, June 28, 2010

Queen makes visit to Canada

TORONTO — Queen Elizabeth II returned to Canada on Monday and pronounced it “good to be home” as she embarked on her 22nd official visit to the country. Hundreds of Canadians stood in a steady rain to get a glimpse of the monarch.

The queen, wearing a yellow hat and a raincoat over her yellow suit, was officially welcomed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The queen is the symbolic head of state in Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies. She last visited Canada in 2005.

On Canada Day, she will be on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for celebrations of the country’s 143rd birthday. She’s visiting in part to mark the Canadian navy’s centennial.

The 84-year-old monarch is visiting with her husband Prince Philip. Though Canadians are somewhat indifferent to the monarchy, most have great affection for the queen, whose silhouette marks their coins.

“My mother once said that this country felt like a home away from home for the Queen of Canada. Prime Minister, I’m delighted to report that it still does and I’m delighted to back amongst you all,” she said.

The queen said Canada is widely admired across the world and said she’s fortunate to have witnessed many of the developments and accomplishments of modern Canada.

“As Queen of Canada for nearly six decades my pride in this country remains undimmed. Thank you again for your welcome. It is very good to be home,” she said.

Harper said the queen has visited Canada more than any other commonwealth country.

“We are honored that you have given so generously of your time,” Harper said.

The trip ends on July 6 in Toronto and when it’s over the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, will also have made stops in Winnipeg and Waterloo, Ontario, where they planned to visit the headquarters of BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion.

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