Nova Scotia welcomes the Queen on Royal visit to Canada

Hundreds of Nova Scotians gathered despite the rain to help Governor General Michaelle Jean, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Premier Darrell Dexter welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh to Nova Scotia today, June 28, their first visit since 1994.

Seated with dignitaries, including Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis and Peter Kelly, Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality, the Royal Couple were treated to a stirring welcome at the Halifax Citadel’s Garrison Grounds, with full military honours, including a 21-gun salute. The event also featured cultural presentations by some of Nova Scotia’s most talented performing artists, including Rawlins Cross, Cyndi Cain and Jamie Sparks, Halifax Boys Honour Choir, Blou and Baie en Joie Dancers, as well as a Mi’kmaq prayer by Murdena Marshall of the Eskasoni First Nation.

The welcome, at the foot of the Halifax Citadel, was the only event during the Nova Scotia portion of the visit where the Queen will make official remarks. She told a nationally televised audience that as the Queen of Canada for nearly six decades, it is very good to be home.

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

Premier Darrell Dexter welcomed the Royal Couple, saying that the diverse and extensive itinerary planned while in Nova Scotia will provide an impressive launch to the Royal Tour in Canada.

"The Royal Tour to Nova Scotia will offer insight into the unique heritage and great opportunities of our province," said Premier Dexter. "I have no doubt that Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will leave our beautiful province with memories that will resonate for years to come."

The Queen was presented with flowers by Logan MacGillivray, a 12- year-old Bedford resident. Logan founded Listen to the Children, which sent two shipping containers of supplies to war-torn Sierra Leone. He continues to raise money to build a multi-purpose centre in the country and has received numerous awards and other recognition for his efforts.

As the Royal Couple departed the Garrison Grounds for their next event, they participated in a walkabout, meeting a number of Nova Scotians, including representatives of the more than 300 scouts and guides at the event.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be in Nova Scotia from June 28 to June 30. While in the province they will participate in a Mi’kmaq cultural celebration, rededicate Government House, conduct the International Fleet Review to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy, and attend a Celebration of Nova Scotia. The full Royal Tour itinerary can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/royaltour . Follow on Twitter @royalvisit and Facebook at www.gov.ns.ca/facebook.

The Royal Couple will leave Nova Scotia on Wednesday, June 30, to visit Ontario and Manitoba before the tour ends July 6.

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