The U11 girls in the St. Charles Force developmental league have been practising a new drill lately — the curtsy.
The young athletes plan to welcome Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Wednesday evening outside the legislative building. Wearing their cleats and uniforms, players such as Payton Holland and Emerson Shier plan to get there early to get a good spot with their signs welcoming the future king and his wife.
"I'm excited," Payton said.
Emerson said the team practised curtsying in case they get a word with Charles or Camilla. She said she's not too familiar with Charles. "I've heard of Prince William and Kate."
Once the formalities are out of the way, they're planning to have some fun with a scrimmage in Memorial Park.
Charles and Camilla arrive at 17 Wing at about 6 p.m. tonight and will head directly to Government House for a reception. The couple will retire for the evening at about 7:30 p.m. before a full day of events Wednesday.
They are making stops all over town, but the best walkabout location is at the legislative building Wednesday evening about 7:45 p.m.
At the legislative building and Government House, cleaning staff and groundskeepers have been busy sprucing up inside and out. Floors have been polished, handrails buffed and outside curbs at the front of the legislative building painted a bright white. Two sets of colourful new banners have been attached to light standards along the front driveways of the legislative building and Government House. One banner features a bison and the other a crocus, the two symbols of the province.
It being unseasonably cold until recently, flowers have yet to be planted in the ground's gardens, although the debris of winter has been removed. On Monday, the Union Jack was raised.
It's been 18 years since Charles last visited Manitoba, but Queen Elizabeth's last visit is still a fresh memory. She was in Winnipeg for a day in July 2010. Then, oppressive heat and a tornado threat didn't deter tens of thousands of Winnipeggers who came to see her at the Manitoba legislature and The Forks.
Charles and Camilla's visit, part of a four-day tour of Canada, revolves around the arts and business innovation. They'll be making stops at Red River College's aviation campus, the innovation hub in the Exchange District and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
The couple is making no fewer than 10 stops in Winnipeg, mostly on Wednesday, when they will hopscotch from Red River College to Assiniboine Park to the Assiniboine Credit Union's new North End branch, finally ending the day at the Manitoba legislature for an Order of Manitoba ceremony.
Charles will give two speeches, one at Red River College and one at the Manitoba legislature.
He will also officially open Place Bernadette Poirier, a new apartment complex in St. Boniface for people with chronic and persistent mental illness. There, Charles will do a walk-through of the complex, spend some private time with a tenant and attend a reception for everyone.
Sara Riel Inc. championed the construction of the 28-unit complex as a way to help people with mental illness recover and remain part of the community while having access to on-site social workers and other help. Half the units are earmarked for people with mental illness and the other half are available to anyone.
"When he picked us, it was an indication, yes, we're doing it right," said Sara Riel executive director Diane Lau, "It puts a real stamp on it."
Since Place Bernadette Poirier learned of the prince's visit, they've been tidying up the post-winter grime and quickly finishing the final landscaping elements that were put off until spring.
-- with files from Bruce Owen and Carol Sanders
The Royal schedule
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Winnipeg this evening at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg.
At 6:40 p.m. they arrive at Government House for a private reception.
10:20 A.M. Charles and Camilla arrive at the Stevenson Hangar at Red River College at 2280 Saskatchewan Ave. to meet young people at an Aerospace and Aviation in Manitoba Day event and tour. Charles will also speak.
11:35 A.M. Charles and Camilla tour the Winnie the Pooh Gallery at the Pavilion Gallery Museum at Assiniboine Park. They are to meet with children and learn about Pooh's connection to Winnipeg.
12 P.M. Charles visits the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre at the new Journey to Churchill exhibition at the Assiniboine Park Zoo to meet Hudson the polar bear and participate in "positive-reinforcement training," which involves feeding the resident bears. He will meet with children and unveil a plaque.
12:15 P.M. Camilla visits the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, where she will learn about the RWB's 75-year history and view demonstrations of the RWB's Outreach and ExplorAbility programs, as well as a pas de deux by students.
12:55 P.M. Charles visits Place Bernadette Poirier, 210 Kenny St., to mark the opening of the facility. The $8.9-million apartment complex has half of its 28 units reserved for people with mental-health issues.
1:45 P.M. Charles arrives at Innovation Alley, along Adelaide Street from McDermot Avenue to William Avenue in the Exchange District, to meet local entrepreneurs.
1:45 P.M. Camilla meets representatives and members of the Assiniboine Credit Union, 360 McGregor St. near Mountain Avenue.
2:50 P.M. Charles visits Red River College at 160 Princess St. to meet with representatives of the Canadian Business Network and attend a meeting on sustainable urban development.
4 P.M. Charles meets with His Royal Highness's Regiments, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and the Air Reserve of Canada, at the Fairmont Hotel.
4:30 P.M. Charles presents long-service medals to RCMP members at the Fairmont Hotel.
6:05 P.M. Camilla meets with representatives of the Queen's Own Rifles Regiment at the Fairmont Hotel.
7 P.M. Charles and Camilla take part in an Order of Manitoba investiture at the Manitoba legislature. Charles is to speak.
7:55 P.M. Official farewell ceremony, with full military honours, a 21-gun salute and an inspection of the Guard of Honour at the front of the legislative building. Charles and Camilla will also do a walk-about on the east front sidewalk before they depart.
8:40 P.M. Charles and Camilla visit a 1928 Fokker Super Universal, a heritage aircraft recently restored by the Western Canada Aviation Museum, on the tarmac of Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg.
8:55 P.M. Charles and Camilla leave Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg for England.