Royal watchers excited for coming visit

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in town Saturday, to the delight of local fans

Ken Lane and his corgi Selwyn show off part of his collection of things related to the monarchy

When Ken Lane looks at pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, he sees hope and promise for the future.

Sitting in the living room of his Greater Victoria home, there are small items  – mementos of Lane’s love of the British monarchy – things such as tea cups, a Princess Diana candy dish and books about Queen Elizabeth II.

There are also larger items, such as a framed genealogy chart of the royal family and life-sized wax figures of many members of the family, such as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William. Lane and his wife, Daphne, even have a corgi named Selwyn (the Queen also has a corgi).

Seated in one of two opera chairs that were crafted for Prince Charles and Princess Diana dated 1987, Lane said it’s the longevity of the monarchy that fascinates him.

“You look at the ups and downs of the British monarchy through the ages. Queen Victoria has a lot to do with bringing the level of respect back to the monarchy that exists today,” said Lane, a loyalist.

“The longevity they have, the connections they make around the world. It’s anything but an isolationist philosophy. It’s an open, welcoming attitude that drifts down to a lot of people who watch, respect and try and emulate what they do.”

Lane’s loyalty of the British monarchy began unexpectedly after he moved to Victoria from Edmonton in 1985 to take over management of hundreds of wax figures of celebrities and historical figures at the Royal London Wax Museum (which closed in 2010 due to seismic upgrades needed for the CP Steamship Terminal that it was housed in).

Lane, who often wrote the guide script for museum tours, found himself researching the figures, which included four of Queen Elizabeth II (from when she was a princess through to her Golden Jubilee), her sister Princess Margaret, and daughter Princess Anne and son Prince Charles, Prince Phillip, Prince William and Princess Diana.

A few years later, he joined the Monarchist League of Canada’s Victoria branch, an organization at the forefront of the promotion, education and nonpartisan defence of the Canadian Crown.

In the past, Lane has helped organize events that celebrate the monarchy, including a celebration of the Queen’s 60th birthday on the lawns of the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

For the Duke and Duchess’ visit to Victoria this coming week, Lane hopes to catch a glimpse of Prince William and his wife, Kate, on the lawns of the legislature, where an official ceremony will welcome  the royal couple, who will honour Canadian military service by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Saturday.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come out and see the influence that the British royal family has in bringing people out and bringing people together and they can forget about whatever problems they had yesterday or a half-an-hour ago and they’re cheering on the royal family and wishing them well,” Lane said, adding he was close to Princes Charles and Diana when they came to town during Expo ‘86. “It’s a promise for the future.”

The royal couple have a number of things planned for their first trip to Victoria, including visits to the Cridge Centre for the Family, tea at Government House with children and families from the Military Family Resource Centre and a meeting with members and staff of the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.

They will also sail a tall ship with the Sail and Life Training Society before making their official departure from Canada at the Victoria Harbour seaplane terminal on Oct. 1.

The royal couple will also stop in Vancouver, the Great Bear Rainforest, Bella Bella, Kelowna, Whitehorse, Haida Gwaii, the Yukon and Carcross during the tour.

 

 

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