Royal visit meets opposition

2011-06-26 13:34

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Montreal - Hardline separatists plan to protest Prince William and Kate Middleton's visit to Quebec next month, saying the future British monarch symbolises Canadian federalism and Anglo-Saxon dominance.

The separatist Quebecois Network of Resistance (RRQ) plans to organise a rally at noon on Sunday, July 3 at the Quebec City Hall, using the slogan "William, Get Lost!" as its rallying cry.

The protest is expected to coincide with the royal couple attending a ceremony intended to showcase the relationship between the Royal 22nd Regiment, Canada's best-known Francophone military regiment, and Quebec City.

"If Prince William and Princess Catherine want to come to Quebec as British citizens for a honeymoon they pay for themselves, we don't have a problem with it," RRQ leader Patrick Bourgeois told AFP.

"But if they come at the invitation of the Canadian federal government, which wants to offend and humiliate Quebec separatists, we will be there."

Political operation

Bourgeois sees Prince William's visit as a purely political operation designed by the federal government to show the world that Quebec knows its place within Canada.

He is seeking a repeat of 2009, when demonstrations forced a visiting Prince Charles - Prince William's father - to enter a military barracks in downtown Montreal by the back door.

Years before, on October 10, 1964, police armed with nightsticks charged a crowd of students and separatists protesting Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Quebec in an incident remembered as "Truncheon Saturday."

Quebec and most of the Lawrence River area was occupied by French colonisers starting in the 16th century. Britain, which had colonies further south, disputed the French control.

After several conflicts, many fought with help from their respective Indian allies, Britain wrested control of the region from France in the 1763 Treaty of Paris at the end of the Seven Years' War.

Queen is formal head of state

Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth, has been independent since the 1930s even though Queen Elizabeth II remains the formal head of state.

Referendums for an independent Quebec were held twice, in 1980 and 1995, and separatists lost each time, although by a very narrow margin in the latest round. Though weakened by its defeat at the polls and internal fighting, the separatist movement is still hoping for a third chance with voters.

According to opinion polls, two thirds of Canadians would like to break institutional links with the British crown.

The British royalty, however, has ardent supporters of its own, represented by the Monarchist League of Canada, which claims 10 000 members, including 500 in Quebec, said provincial spokesperson Etienne Boisvert.

Boisvert, whose French ancestors arrived in Quebec in the 16th and 17th centuries, conceded that France and Britain have a history of difficult ties.

But, he said, it was the British who "brought a parliamentary system of government, democracy and the doctrine of individual rights to North America."

Feudal institution

He called the monarchy a "feudal institution that knew how to reinvent itself."

And the fact that the queen lives 4 000 kilometres away is not a concern for him, as she is represented in Canada by the governor general, David Lloyd Johnston.

In monarchist circles, people have proposed making a member of the royal family head each one of the 16 Commonwealth realms.

"Prince Harry, who has virtually no chance of becoming king, could set himself up here and found a Canadian branch of the monarchy," Boisvert speculated. "Or the future king could rotate - six months in Canada, six in Australia, six in London."

- SAPA

Read more on:    prince william  |  kate middleton  |  celebrities
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Madonsela to probe ANC food-for-votes claims

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has launched an investigation into whether the ANC has used state resources for its electoral campaign, says a report.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.