Welcoming Will and Kate

It’s official. Canada is first on the list for a visit from Prince William and Kate Middleton this summer.

Of course, she will be a member of the English Royal Family by then as the couple is set to wed April 29 in London’s magnificent Westminster Abbey.

After celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa, the couple will makes stops in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Alberta and the Northwest Territories as well.

Now there are a whole lot of naysayers out there who continually decry even the presence of a ‘royal family’. Many point out that in their opinion it’s ridiculous to have kings, queens, princes and princesses in modern times. Especially when they hold virtually no power and are ultimately nothing more than figureheads, or a quaint reminder of past centuries.

Others are committed Royalists to the end.

After all, there is a rich history behind England’s Royal Family. The stories may not all be flattering, particularly those that have surfaced about certain goings-on in the past 20 years or so, but all in all it can be described as a fascinating dynasty with all kinds of colourful characters and events.

As to William and Katherine, there is already a non-stop flood of media attention being stirred up. There have been a flurry of TV specials outlining every detail about their romance. There are even books that have been hastily published about the attractive young couple in anticipation of their wedding day.

Commentators and many ‘commoners’ in England have expressed delight at the prospect of the marriage, saying that it’s a much-needed bright spot in the midst of tough economic times in Britain.

Whatever one’s feeling about the relevance of the royals, Canadians should feel pleased that our nation is the first the couple will visit in their official capacity.

It speaks to a solid relationship between England and Canada – one that goes back decades. Our nation has consistently been at the top of the list for such visits, and there is no doubt the public for the most part relishes every moment of it.

People are also hopeful that this marriage will work, unlike so many others amongst the Royals. William clearly knows firsthand the fallout of the disastrous union between his own parents, Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Hopefully this time around, things will turn out positively. William and Katherine have that rare opportunity to shine up the image of the Royal Family internationally.

And we in Canada will be among the first to witness how they are settling into the demands and duties of the ‘royal routine’.