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Charles hails 'selfless' citizens


The Prince of Wales with traditional dancers at the First Nations University, in Regina, Canada

The Prince of Wales with traditional dancers at the First Nations University, in Regina, Canada

The Prince of Wales with traditional dancers at the First Nations University, in Regina, Canada

Canada's selfless citizens were praised by the Prince of Wales as he ended his Diamond Jubilee tour by highlighting the Commonwealth country's devotion to others.

The four-day visit saw Charles renew his bonds with the nation that has a special place in his affections.

"Every time I come to Canada...a little more of Canada seeps into my bloodstream - and from there straight to my heart," was how the Prince summed up the relationship at the visit's start.

Canadians came out in large numbers to see the heir to the throne and his wife Camilla tour three provinces - New Brunswick on the east coast, Ontario and Saskatchewan. The hectic schedule saw the royals spend much of their time with First Nations people, teenagers, and the country's armed forces as they highlighted the tour's main theme of service to others.

Diamond Jubilee medals, issued to those who have selflessly helped their communities, have been presented by the Prince in every province.

Speaking after a concert staged for himself and his wife, the heir to the throne said: "We came determined to explore and recognise as many examples of Canadian excellence and service to others as we possibly could, and what a remarkable diversity of achievement we have found.

"It is almost impossible, of course, to single out any individual highlights when they have been so many but all those marvellous selfless people we have met in the past few days really do exemplify the spirit of the theme Canada has chosen for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee."

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Regina Symphony Orchestra, which has the Prince as its patron, played classical pieces and Beatles hits for the royal couple at the national training centre of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or Mounties, in Regina. Meanwhile, Canada's prime minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen joined the royal couple and the politician announced that Charles had become an honorary commissioner of the famous police force.

The highlight of their last day in Canada saw the royal couple experience a traditional First Nations welcome from students at a university in Regina that specialises in teaching teenagers from the country's indigenous communities.

A departure ceremony featuring a guard of honour and gun salute was staged for the royal couple at a local airport but torrential rain soaked the soldiers and spectators and Charles crouched under an umbrella as he inspected the troops before leaving.

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