The Queen and Prince Philip have a solid marriage despite
the pressures their roles place on it. Or maybe its because of
those pressures that their marriage has been going strong
since it began way back in 1947.
"If I am asked what I think about family life after 25 years of
marriage, I can answer with equal simplicity and conviction,
I am for it." The Queen's Silver Wedding speech at the
Guildhall, November 1972.
A Kisaragi Colour
As people around the world commemorate Remembrance
Day we remember the sacrifices and bravery of our armed
forces. The fact I can sit at my computer in rural New
Brunswick and write this article without any fear of attack is
in large part because of them. That this could easily be
different reminds me that but for the grace of God go I.
The Royal Family remembers this more than most. It has
long been tradition for members of the Royal Family to get
some form of military training for when they would have to
lead their armies themselves. While no monarch is expected
to be in the field anymore it is still recognized that a royal
should share in some measure of the soldier's experience.
It is widely known that Her
Majesty served as a truck
driver and mechanic during
World War Two. She remains
the only female member of
the Royal Family to have
entered military service and
the only living head of state
who served in that war. Her Majesty served in the Women’s
Auxiliary Territorial Service and had the rank of Second
Prince Philip served in the British
Navy during World War Two in the
Indian Ocean and Mediterranean
Sea. He was mentioned in dispatches
for his services during the Battle of
Cape Matapan during which he
controlled the search lights. During
the invasion of Sicily he devised a
means to distract in-coming German
bombers away from the ship by the
use of rafts and smoke signals. On
his 90th birthday he was given an
honorary appointment to all three branches of the Canadian
Prince Harry served in the military for ten years and undertook two tours of Afghanistan. Part of his training was
carried out in 2007 while in Canada.
His first tour ended prematurely after
two media outlets revealed that he
had been secretly deployed which
posed a threat to him and his fellow
soldiers. To get around this Prince
Harry completed his Apache attack
helicopter training and was then
redeployed. Since attack helicopters
are always high-priority targets it was
determined his presence would create
no additional threat to the other military personnel.
Prince Harry's time in the military has made a lasting impact
on him and inspired the creation of the Invictus Games for
wounded and disabled soldiers and veterans.
The bond between the Royal Family and their soldiers is a
strong one built over time and generations. And as this
Remembrance Day comes to an end we hope for the day when
no one will have to put themselves in harms way in defence of
Queen and country.
A Kisaragi Colour
I have an occasional interest in stories about Canadians and
their interactions with the Royal Family. I don't think these
stories are all that rare as even within the ranks of my 30, or
so, coworkers two have shared stories about Royal Tours. The
first is a story I have I may have already shared at one point.
When my coworker was a young girl she was part of an event
in Riverview, New Brunswick. I believe this would have been
the 1984 Royal Tour which celebrated New Brunswick's
bicentennial. While the Queen had gone to Sackville for an
event, Prince Philip attended an event in Riverview. The local
school seems to have had their students attend. As it turns out
my future coworker was one of the few students who dressed
up for the occasion. Either noticing that she had put some
effort into her appearance or that she was somewhat self-
conscious about this fact, Prince Philip approached her and
remarked about the somewhat unkempt appearance of the
The second story was relayed to me recently by a second
coworker. His son is a member of the RCMP and when he was
a rookie he was assigned to be part of the Queen's security
detail while she was staying at a hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Normally a rookie would not be given this job but it was found at the last minute that another officer assigned to the security
detail did not have a suit. My coworker's son was asked if he
did. He in fact did which got him added to the Queen's
security. That night he was assigned to the hotel grounds
where he chatted with a senior member of the security detail.
This man had an ear piece that was connected to microphones
in the Queen's bedroom so at the first sign of trouble he would
be alerted. The next morning the young rookie was assigned to the kitchen. The cook asked if he wanted a piece of
blueberry pie. He accepted and as he was eating he was made
aware of the fact that only one other piece had been served
from that pie which was the Queen's piece. I can only make
assumptions but it may well be that the Queen's food is kept
separate to avoid the potential for poisoning.
Anyways, these have been two stories about Canadian Royal
Tours. I hope you found them at least a little bit interesting.
A Kisaragi Colour
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince
Philip have been around a long
time. And in that time they have
made over 20 official visits. Nova
Scotia Writer Allison Lawlor
has written an interesting little
book that serves to illustrate the
Queen's many years as Canada's
As the back cover describes the book as a 'scrapbook' of the
royal tours it may be best to start with the visual aspects of
this book. If you guessed there are a lot of pictures, you would
be right. There are over 100 pictures covering the tours
themselves, schedules, and related memorabilia. The pictures
are crisp and well-captioned.
Some, such as the Queen
signing the Constitution Act
are iconic and you have likely
seen them before. But there
are many images that have
likely not been seen in many
years and certainly not
collected together like this.
Allison Lawlor has also included an impressive array of quotes
made by Her Majesty over the years. These give a glimpse into
the Queen's feeling for Canada and are greatly appreciated.
While the book is certainly pro-monarchy it does not shy away
from talking about various controversies that occurred, how
they related to the tours, and reactions to them. This adds
some needed context in areas since royal tours often had
aims related to the current political 'mood' of the time.
Overall, its a good introduction to Canada's history of royal
tours and would make an attractive addition to any coffee
table. The specialist may be left wanting more though. Myself,
I would have found the addition of a map marking the places
the Queen has visited a worthwhile addition that would drive
home the Queen's deep connection to her country. Given that
this book is titled A Royal Couple in Canada I would have
found the addition of some quotes by Prince Philip most
These are small issues though and do not detract greatly from
this book that Allison Lawlor has written. I fully recommend
it. It is available for purchase online here.
A Kisaragi Colour
It has been announced today that Prince
Philip will not be carrying out active
engagements from the autumn of this
year. At nearly 96 years of age, and after
a lifetime of service, it is a well-deserved
rest. While Prince Philip will not be
carrying out engagements I suspect we
will still find him at the Queen's side as
he always has been. The announcement
notice from the Palace is below. I would
like to wish Prince Philip all the best in
A Kisaragi Colour
This website is intended to be a resource for those arguing in favour of Canada's monarchy, researching Canada's royal past, or wondering what the various vice-regal representatives of the Canadian Crown are up to currently. As well, articles about other monarchies may appear from time to time.