Her Majesty arrived in the Nation’s Capital at noon today. I was over at the newly renovated Museum of Nature, which was the first stop on the Royal Tour. We were treated to the Ottawa Police bagpipe band, and highland dancers.
The royal couple arrived outside the Museum, and were met by Heritage Minister James Moore. The pool report reads as such:
Upon entering the refurbished museum, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh immediately walked across a tile mosaic of a bull moose that has only recently been made public. The mosaic was covered in the 1950s after complaints from a Catholic nun that the anatomically correct moose was inappropriate for visiting school children. The Queen then viewed a maquette of the museum grounds and received a description of the building's history. At a nearby table, the royal couple viewed a stuffed Snowy Owl and wolverine, a huge amethyst crystal from Thunder Bay and preserved plants collected by Sir Robert Parry in the Arctic in 1822. Her Majesty looked sternly at the wolverine, which was posed standing upright on hind legs with teeth bared, but the Duke laughed and appeared quite taken with the animal. She then ascended by elevator to the fourth floor of the museum to view the newly built "Queen's Lantern", a glass tower on the front of the building that's been dedicated to Queen Victoria and her great, great granddaughter. The building's original tower was removed after it began sinking and pulling away from the building more than 80 years ago. From the glass tower, the royal couple went to see the skeleton of a blue whale. Outside the blue whale exhibit, they met children gathered at an interactive kids' play area. Prince Phillip strolled over to chat with several boys and girls, about ages five to eight, lined up along a mock parapet, then leaned down to speak with several young girls in a toy boat. The Queen and Prince formally dedicated the new lantern tower and were then serenaded by a teen choir as they descended the main interior stairway. The Queen did a short walk-about outside en route to her car when she left the museum.
The Queen, dressed in robin's egg blue dress and matching hat, was applauded when she arrived outside by a crowd of more than 500. Inside the museum, a female museum guard gushed "she's beautiful" before snapping a picture of the Queen inside the glass lantern tower.
Afterward, they went to the National Arts Centre to unveil a statue of Jazz legend Oscar Peterson at the corner of Elgin and Albert. I didn’t make it up there in time to see any of the action – the crowds were a lot more intense there – but here’s the pool report:
As the Queen exited her vehicle, she appeared to stumble momentarily before catching her footing.
She and the Duke then proceeded down the red carpet where they stood and listened to a speech from Minister Moore. The Queen then walked to the curtain covering the life-sized statue of Oscar Peterson sitting beside a piano, and pulled the yellow cord to reveal the monument.
The Queen then greeted members of the Peterson family before moving to greet members of the Montreal Gospel Choir, followed by a walkabout past members of the committee who chose the design of the statue. She later received flowers from wellwishers, including at least two children, and shook hands with several people before departing.
From there, to Rideau Hall to plant a tree, meet with the Prime Minister, and to see the unveiling of the Diamond Jubilee Window design and bust maquette for the Senate Foyer. Later this evening, it’s a garden reception that sadly I won’t be attending.