06/02/2011

Royal visit creates Ottawa room shortage

Ottawa has close to eight million visitors annually and it seems like most of them want to be there on Canada Day this year.

Of course, there’s an added attraction to the Parliament Hill festivities with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in town June 30 to July 2. And while William and Kate will have no trouble finding a room, anyone who hasn’t booked yet is going to find it tough.

Most hotels downtown are sold out for the long weekend and city tourism officials are directing would-be royal watchers to find places outside the core.

“It’s probably a good idea to look to expand the geographical area they’d normally look in,” Caroline Couture-Gillgrass of Ottawa Tourism told the Ottawa Citizen.  “There also might be cancellations as time gets closer to the day.”

Don’t hold your breath.

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Chateau Speaking of hotels, the royal visit comes at an awkward time for Quebec City, where the royals will be on July 3.

The Fairmont Chateau Frontenac – “the world’s most photographed hotel,” they owners say --  is undergoing renovations to its roof for the next few years. That means the roof is laced with scaffolding and netting instead of its iconic green copper covering.

Not wanting to disappoint the tourists, the hotel is wrapping the netting with an image of the roof painted on the surface. It’s doubtful the royals will be fooled when they point their Nikon in that direction, but full marks to Fairmont for making the effort.

Stamps of approval

You can’t have a royal wedding without a stamp these days.

Stamp Kate and William will find that out when then mail their Canadian postcards back to Grandma Elizabeth (if the post office isn’t on strike of course).

  In Monaco, where Prince Albert will marry Charlene Wittstock on July 2, a set of commemorative stamps has been issued (right). One would think that in a country that tiny the need for stamps internally would be minimal, but they can certainly be used to mail out some of the Monaco royal souvenirs that are now available.

Key rings, silk hand fans … even a page marker. For the royalist who has everything.

Photo caption optional...

Camilla
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has been on a tour of Scotland with Prince Charles this week. Among the stops was a an exhibition in Edinburgh of weaving and painted animals, part of a project to protect endangered animals. You are free to supply your own descriptions. (Getty Images)

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The Duchess shares a joke about bagpipes with husband Charles.

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