Page last updated at 08:19 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Prince makes Canada charity gift

Prince Charles and Governor General Michaelle Jean
The dinner was at the residence of Governor General Michaelle Jean

The Prince of Wales has asked for money to be donated to a military charity rather than be given gifts at the close of his tour of Canada.

The Military Families Fund will be given 250,000 Canadian dollars, (£150,000) by the Canadian Government.

The prince and the Duchess of Cornwall made the request to the nation's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

The Canadian leader highlighted the gesture at a state dinner in Ottawa on Wednesday in honour of the couple.

Mr Harper told the guests: "It is customary on occasions such as this to present a gift to our visitors. However, their highnesses have requested that a donation be made in their names to a military charity."

The Military Families Fund was founded in 2007 to help with short-term emergencies and long-term support for dependants of service personnel.

'Everlasting gratitude'

The dinner was held at the official residence of the Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean. Guests included war veterans, cultural figures and members of the organic farming community.

The prime minister also praised the royal couple for participating in the Remembrance Day service at Canada's national monument in Ottawa.

The prince stood with the governor general and Mr Harper at the ceremony and laid a wreath in commemoration of the fallen.

Prince Charles mentioned the moment during his speech to the guests at the dinner.

He said: "It was an even more poignant occasion at this time when I think of those Canadian servicemen who have paid the ultimate price for their loyalty and dedication in Afghanistan.

"We do owe them an enormous debt of everlasting gratitude."

The prince and duchess, who have been touring Canada for 10 days, will end their visit by planting a tree at the official home of the governor general on Thursday.



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