August 03, 1987 12:00 PM

Dear Diana (or do I still have to call you Princess?),

Having a swell time in Canada. You know how worried I was about this trip, especially when I heard that the newspapers here were calling me “Big Red,” “a giggling disco queen” and part of the “Queen’s off-the-wall family.” But everything’s okay now. Thank heavens you taught me that little trick of wearing a country’s national colors on arrival. When I got off the plane in Toronto on July 15 in that red Chanel-style suit and white hat, well, let me tell you, it was a big hit. I even did you one better by tucking an artificial maple leaf in my hair. (Am I forgiven?)

In Toronto, Andrew and I stayed at the famous Royal York hotel. We were told the staff jumped up and down on our bed before we arrived to make sure it was sturdy enough for nocturnal athletics. Ha! As if we’d have time for that with our schedule. It’s a 25-day visit, but the first five have been taken up with official duties. Last week I even had to get enthusiastic about 19th-century barrel-making techniques and paddling around in a canoe. You warned me there would be days like this.

As usual, I’m having fun with the crowds. How can I say this nicely? They love me! During a walkabout in Toronto, I left the path only to discover that the grass was muddier than Wimbledon in June. “What are you going to do about it?” I joked to a fellow wearing a Polish folk-dancing costume. He whipped off his cloak and threw it down. My only choice was to wave grandly and say, “My Sir Walter Raleigh.” Everybody ate it up.

Oh, I almost forgot. We had a real scare when our helicopter developed engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing on our way to Niagara Falls. Andrew says we were never in any real danger, but he thoughtfully held my hand until we plunked down safely. A backup copter picked us up and we went on to the Falls. They were smashing. We took lots of pictures, just like the other dopey tourists, and got soaked on the Maid of the Mist.

Today Andrew dragged me to Rosseau Lake, an old trysting spot of his during his college days. (I wish he’d grow up!)Tomorrow I’ll practice getting dumped from a canoe so I can learn how to climb back in safely, a handy trick for our trip up the Yukon River. (Di, you’d absolutely hate it—there’s no place to plug in a blow dryer.)

For July 23, our first anniversary, they planned a rodeo in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Yee-haw! Then, on July 27, a private camping and canoeing trip. No crowds, no press. I can’t wait to get Andrew alone in a tent.

Love to you, Charles and the boys,


P.S. Are you behaving yourself? I want to hear e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!

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