The Royal Visit to Quebec City – A Report Ahead of Time

The Royal Visit to Quebec City – A Report Ahead of Time

Here’s a tongue-firmly-in-cheek view of the city’s Royal Visit.
Submitted by Farnell Morisset

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Québec City next Sunday morning aboard the HMCS Montréal. Officially approved media cameras were far enough away to capture the Royal Couple’s full bodies as they were met by a small group of dignitaries and military officials. After a brief exchange, the newlywed couple and their escort headed to their waiting limo, hood-mounted Canadian Flags billowing in the wind behind a modest military escort in unmarked black vehicles.

With onlookers already beginning to gather, Prince William and Princess Kate arrived at the Maison Dauphine to meet and shake hands with the underprivileged and downtrodden people they couldn’t possibly ever relate to. The residents present, carefully prescreened by Canadian Intelligence and handpicked by the staff for their general good behaviour, shook hands with the smiling Prince and his wife. One resident, unsure how to act, stiffly bowed before being temporarily blinded by the dozens of camera flashes. She was later interviewed, and the only soundbite to make it out of the news editing room was her commenting on how pretty Kate looked in her form-fitting classic blue dress.

After a short, private lunch break at an undisclosed location, the charismatic young royal couple sat in the back of their limo, windows down, as a parade for the key to the city left from Parliament to City Hall. Local news estimates vary dramatically as to how many onlookers were present, and while TV reports will pointedly remark that most of the crowd was positive and peaceful, the majority of their newscasts will be dedicated to the hundred or so radical separatist activists, many of them the same people as those in next Saturday’s Montréal protests, booed and presented hand-made banners with well-meaning but largely incoherent political messages. A single empty plastic water bottle was thrown, which will be shown looped in slow-motion from three different angles for the next four days on all news media.

Twenty seconds in the reporting newscast will be devoted to a short interview with a scruffy long-haired activist repeating his trite rhetoric, followed by three seconds spared for an elderly man with military medals and a young mother and her Canadian-flag waving daughter, both visibly happy to have seen the Prince and Princess wave at them through the windows of their bulletproof limousine.

The ceremony ended at City Hall, where mayor Régis Labeaume heartily greeted the Duke of Cambridge, giving him a friedly slap on the shoulder which visibily shook the balance of the handsome blonde army captain before putting his hand on the prince’s back and barely holding still long enough for an official photo.

Though some onlookers who happened to be in the area did stop and stare, nobody seemed to care much about the Royals’ visit to Lévis, later that afternoon.

Official reactions around the Royal visit to the National Capital were mixed. While Premier Charest extolled the welcoming nature of the Québecois people and thanked Prince William and Princess Kate for honoring us with their visit, PQ opposition leader Pauline Marois decried that Québec taxpayers covered part of the bill for a visit from wealthy and priviliged foreign rulers. Québec Solidaire leader Amir Khadir resisted the media baiting to call them “parasites” once more, though he presented his rehearsed statement that the Québecois people will never be free as long as we treat unelected foreign rulers, implicitly guilty of terrible atrocities, as heroes worthy of lording over us.

The famous looping image of the empty water bottle will be broadcast across Canada, prompting conservative pundits from across western Canada to cry out in self-righteous indignation while Toronto-based Canadian magazines will freely engage in yet another round of Québec-bashing.

Meanwhile, at home, every columnist will improvise himself a historian, picking and choosing the facts that support his either pro- or anti-Monarchy stance while casually ignoring the other side’s opposition, save for Richard Martineau who will fill up half a page explaining why this isn’t something important enough to talk about.

Cue a dozen related human interest stories, creating a great further distraction from all the real social problems we should probably get around to solving.

Article and photo courtesy of FourFourSeven

About the author:

Born and raised in Québec City, Farnell Morisset attended English school throughout his primary, secondary, and CEGEP studies, before ultimately choosing to stay in Québec City and study civil engineering at Laval University, where he served as president of the civil engineering student association. It was there that he discovered his affinity for writing and commentary, preparing a weekly column in the student newspaper dealing with the issues he, as president of the association, felt were important and relevant.

Having completed his engineering studies, Farnell felt there was a lack of reasonable, moderate discussion on the issues of modern social identity for many Québecois who, like him, felt deeply connected to the Québecois nation and culture yet did not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image. He was also alarmed by what seemed to be an invasive and aggressive polarization of complex social issues for which there are no black-and-white answers. This eventual identity crisis, he feels, will only be solved through good faith in, and honest communication with, all sides pulling on our ever dwindling “pure laine” blanket.

It is with his in mind that he founded, which he hopes will become one of many voices of reason in what may become our generation’s most important critical debate on national identity.

Categories: News

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset has an engineering degree from Université Laval and common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, where he also studied economics.