ARMCHAIR MAYOR – The day Harry’s parents paid a visit to Kamloops

Diana, Princess of Wales, on a walkabout in Riverside Park on May 3, 1986.

BIG DAY, royal wedding and all.

Today is all about Harry and Meghan. Seems like only yesterday it was all about Charles and Diana. Chuck and Di.

Back when Harry was just a little mite — not even two years old — and his brother William was only four, his parents paid a visit to Kamloops.

It was the year of Expo 86, and Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales were in Vancouver for the official opening. The next day, Saturday, May 3, was Kamloops’ turn (after a stop in Kelowna, of course).

It was a very big deal, though Princes William and Harry weren’t with them. Their father, Prince Charles, was theoretically the star of the show but Princess Di was the one everybody wanted to see.

Plans were made for festivities at Riverside Park, including local entertainment, presentation of a gift, and a walk-about.

There were a few nerves about how Mayor Jim Walsh would handle it. Jim was likeable, blunt and sometimes a man of awkward words, and as mayor he would be front and centre.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6691 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on ARMCHAIR MAYOR – The day Harry’s parents paid a visit to Kamloops

  1. R A George // May 19, 2018 at 4:22 PM // Reply

    My advisor and I were up at 4 for Megan and Harry,s visit to Kamloops. We enjoyed it. The blissfull couple handled it well. Megan looks very much like her mother. Sad that her dad could not be there .Philip, at 96 was probably nodding off with the Queen giving him the elbow. I probably would have.The Mississippi preacher did carry on a bit too long, and God and Jesus mentioned too often.The camera work could have homed in on more people of interest I thought.The weather was perfect , the horses behaved and the Duke and Duchess of Essex were at one with the amazing crowd of folks that appreciate the monarchy and what they represent.
    We can,t see the Donald in the same situation.
    Perhaps one day we,ll see the two lovebirds at Riverside Park.

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