Even though she’s not coming, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo will open with a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

The tattoo launched its 2010 lineup at a press conference in Halifax yesterday. Ian Fraser, the show’s artistic director, said a special musical arrangement written for the Queen’s possible presence will open the show.

Concerns over the 83-year-old Queen climbing stairs to the stage were raised by the show’s organizers in March. Although the Queen’s staff said she could handle it, her appearance was cancelled weeks ago.

“It’s enormously disappointing to us,” Fraser said in an interview yesterday.

“But we thought she’s coming to Nova Scotia and we’ll do something for her, so the people attending the show will be able to get a sense of what would have happened had she been here.”

Details of the Queen’s visit this summer were released by the province yesterday. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be in Halifax June 28-30.

Provincial staff are working on a schedule of events for the Queen while she’s here to mark the navy’s centennial. A spokeswoman for the premier’s office said they will be releasing the schedule soon and will post it at gov.ns.ca/royalvisit.

Even without a royal presence, Fraser is promising a stellar show this year, the tattoo’s 30th.

French and Australian television crews will be broadcasting the show to more than 20 countries, Fraser announced.

“This is an amazing amount of coverage for the tattoo and it’s the first, to my knowledge, for any Canadian production,” he said. “This will be an incredible benefit not only to the tattoo but to the province in stimulating tourism.”

The two themes of this year’s show are the navy’s centennial and 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Performers and musicians from all over Canada, as well as Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the U.S., the U.K. and the Netherlands, will contribute.

Among the 2010 Tattoo performers

• Paris Fire Brigade Gymnastics team
• Flying Grandpas and a drill team from Germany
• Band of America’s Few from the U.S. Marines
• Club Piruett from Estonia
• Juliana Bicycle team from the Netherlands
• Ashelin, a musical group from Newfoundland
• The RCMP’s ceremonial troop
• Navy display team
• Plus numerous other choirs, dancers and gymnasts