Sophie, Countess of Wessex to visit remote First Nations reserve in Ontario

The Earl and Countess of Wessex’s whirlwind tour of Canada is well underway.

Sophie Rhys-Jones, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, landed in Vancouver with her husband on Friday, Sept. 12, where the royal couple visited schoolchildren and First Nations leaders.

They toured British Colombia over the subsequent four days, but while the Earl flew out to Saskatchewan on Sept. 17, Sophie has undertaken a rather unprecedented trip to a remote location.

The Countess arrived in northern Ontario on Sept. 19 to visit an extremely isolated First Nations reserve, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, which is only accessible by air and has just 1,300 residents.

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Over the next three days, Sophie will stay at a modest inn and visit community members’ homes, meet the village elders and share in a community feast.

It’s an unusual treat for the aboriginal community, which has struggled with unemployment, poor housing and sub-par education. The town hasn't received a visit from the Crown since the treaty was signed in 1929, and officials kept the countess' itinerary quiet until yesterday.

Sophie, 49, said she was interested in visiting a Canadian First Nations’ community, despite the challenges of conducting a royal visit in such a remote community.


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