Canada Day and Our Canadian Crown

When many Canadians think of celebrating the Canadian Crown (if they do so at all), they are likely drawn only to thoughts of Victoria Day, that odd, seemingly outdated May holiday that many take advantage of but few understand. Indeed, it has been one of our many goals to make New Brunswickers aware of Victoria Day’s deeper significance as the Queen’s Canadian Birthday.

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HM The Queen cuts Canada’s Centennial Cake, 1 July 1967

 

But more significantly, however, I believe Canadians think that our Monarchy is something we only celebrate on Victoria Day and when the Royal Family is touring some part of the nation or marking a milestone (the recent Royal Wedding and the Diamond Jubilee being examples). The Monarchy is often thus relegated to the shelves when it’s not making headlines (good or bad) in the press.

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HM The Queen with PM Mulroney on Parliament Hill, 1 July 1990

The Monarchy is, in fact, a part of our everyday lives. Many Canadians just don’t realize it. While it’s true that the Queen only spends a few days on Canadian soil every few years, it is not true that that’s the only time when Canada has her attention. In fact, she is regularly kept abreast of Canadian issues through communications with her representative, the Governor General. As Canada’s Viceroy, the GG exercises most of the Queen’s prerogatives. He opens and prorogues Parliament, receives Ambassadors and High Commissioners (as Ambassadors from Commonwealth Realms are known), greets foreign Heads of State, and communicates with the Prime Minister (exercising, we hope, Bagehot’s three rights of a constitutional monarch – the right to encourage, the right to warn, and the right to be consulted). The Queen and her Family are involved personally with a vast number of Canadian charities, organizations, and regiments, and these are often featured in what have recently become frequent royal tours.

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The Queen leaves Ottawa after celebrating Canada Day and the 125th Anniversary of Confederation, 2 July 1992

Then there’s the everyday working of the Canadian constitution. Every law that is enacted, ever sentence handed down, every passport issued, is done so in the name of the Queen. The Queen’s representatives, the GG and the Lieutenant Governors, act in the Queen’s name, bestowing honours and patronages to worthy individuals and organizations. They are appointed by the Queen, and in turn invite the leaders of political parties with the largest number of seats in their respective legislatures to form governments as prime ministers and premiers, also in the Queen’s name. Simply put, the Crown is everywhere.

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The Queen with PM Chretien on Parliament Hill for Canada Day celebrations, 1 July 1997

The Queen has not been a stranger to our national celebrations, either. She has been present on Parliament Hill for Canada Day on five separate occasions (her grandson and granddaughter-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have also taken part, in 2011); she was on hand to open to St Lawrence Seaway with President Eisenhower in 1969, to preside at Centennial celebrations in 1967 and 125th Anniversary events in 1992, to attend centennial celebrations for several western provinces in the 1970s and 2005, to open the Montreal Olympics in 1976, to mark her Silver and Golden Jubilees in 1977 and 2002, etc. Her extended family have also been present for many of our other milestones.

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The Queen inspects a Guard of Honour on Parliament Hill, 1 July 2010

On each occasion for which the Queen has been present for Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill, the crowds have far exceeded any other Canada Day records. This was even more the case when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended in 2011. This should remind Canadians that many of their fellow countrymen see the Monarchy as central to our national life. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate on Parliament Hill, 1 July 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate on Parliament Hill, 1 July 2011

This is the point which I am trying to make – our Monarchy is part of who we are. For as long as there have been humans on this territory, they have been ruled by Kings, Queens, and Chieftains. It’s bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. So, this Canada Day, whether you’re waving your flag, watching the local parade, sporting a maple leaf tatoo or relaxing with a cold one on a deck somewhere, remember that our Monarchy is part of who we are as a people and one of the many reasons you can feel proud to be a Canadian.

 

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Sixtieth Anniversary of Coronation is Cause for Reflection as Well as Celebration

This op-ed piece appeared in today’s issue (1 June 2013) of The Daily Gleaner.

For the second time in as many years, the Commonwealth of Nations is celebrating the long and storied reign of our Queen, Elizabeth II. Her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 was feted with stamps and coins, pageants and dinners, parties and scholarships, presentations and exhibitions, across the globe. In 2013, however, the celebrations will be somewhat more muted. There are no commemorative medals being struck and presented, no federal funding scheme for community activities. Apart from a Service of Thanksgiving and commercial Coronation Festival, both of which are taking place in London, the sixtieth anniversary of the Queen’s 1953 Coronation is being celebrated in quiet dignity.

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On the face of it, this might seem somewhat strange when one considers that the Queen’s Coronation was one of the most lavish celebrations of the twentieth century which the world had the pleasure to witness. It was colourful. It was grand. It was remarkable. Her Accession sixteen months earlier, however, had been the muted occasion, for the Commonwealth was in mourning for their departed Sovereign, George VI. And yet, when it came time to mark the sixtieth anniversaries of the Queen’s Accession and Coronation, Canada and the rest of the Commonwealth chose to focus their celebrations on the former rather than the latter.

This is not necessarily inappropriate. Diamond Jubilee Year was, after all, a celebration of the Queen’s sixty years on the throne, and her reign started in February 1952, not June 1953. In times long gone, Coronations took place much more quickly following the Accession of a new King or Queen; in more recent centuries, their planning has taken increasingly lengthy periods of time. One can’t really plan in advance for such an event.

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Besides, it is perhaps appropriate that the sixtieth anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation is being marked in a quiet and dignified way, given that the occasion was one of great solemnity. It is, after all, an ancient Christian religious service, during which God is as much the centre of the ceremony as the humble servant being anointed in His name. There are rumblings in the UK that changes are afoot among those who will (or at least may) be responsible for organising the next Coronation. The service may become more multi-faith in some respects. We will have to wait and see.

But there were no rumblings in 1953. The Queen went to her Coronation knowing that there would never be another engagement in her reign which would be as significant. In fact, the most solemn part of the Coronation, during which the Queen was anointed with Holy Oil, was not broadcast and therefore has never been seen except by those who were there in person to see it.

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In the past two years, I have heard quoted more often times than I can remember the then-Princess Elizabeth’s famous quote from 1947: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Echoing these sentiments, following her Coronation in 1953 the Queen addressed her peoples: “The ceremonies you have seen today are ancient, and some of their origins are veiled in the mists of the past. But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages never, perhaps, more brightly than now. I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”

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Reflecting further on the meaning of the Coronation, the Queen continued: “Therefore I am sure that this, my Coronation, is not the symbol of a power and a splendour that are gone but a declaration of our hopes for the future, and for the years I may, by God’s Grace and Mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.”

She concluded: “As this day draws to its close, I know that my abiding memory of it will be, not only the solemnity and beauty of the ceremony, but the inspiration of your loyalty and affection. I thank you all from a full heart. God bless you all.”

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And so, it seems that for the Queen herself the Coronation was not all about pomp and pageantry, but about the deeper meaning of the day. As New Brunswickers mark its sixtieth anniversary, may we be ever mindful of the meaning of Her Majesty’s reign and the inspiration towards devoted service which it continues to be.

God Save the Queen.

Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation This Weekend

On the heels of a tremendously joyous Diamond Jubilee Year, the New Brunswick Branch of the Monarchist League of Canada is now preparing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of HM The Queen. 

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Four events are planned for the week of the actual anniversary, June 2nd. These will begin tomorrow, June 1st, with an afternoon of children’s activities at the Fredericton Region Museum. Children and their families are invited to drop by the Museum between 1 and 4 pm to take part in a variety of activities, including paper crown-making, a colouring contest, writing letters to the Queen, a scavenger hunt and dress up stations.

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The next day, June 2nd, will include two events. At noon, churches across New Brunswick have been asked to ring their bells for six minutes (one for each decade of the Queen’s reign) in honour of the anniversary of the Coronation.

Later that afternoon, the League invites members of the public to attend a Choral Evensong with Thanksgiving for the 60thanniversary of the Queen’s Coronation at 4pm at Christ Church Cathedral. A reception will follow the service in the Cathedral.

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The fourth and final event being organised in honour of this special and rare anniversary will take place on June 6th at 7pm at the Fredericton Public Library, where the public is invited to a special showing of the 1953 documentary “Canada at the Coronation.” Filmed in beautiful 1950s technicolour, this documentary is a beautiful record of the last century’s most spectacular public celebration, and has a special focus on Canada’s (and Canadians’) participation in it.

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The League hopes that members of the public will feel most welcome to attend these events, which have been specially organised to engage New Brunswickers with this important royal milestone. We were incredibly gratified last year when so many people attended our various Diamond Jubilee events, and we have therefore tried to organise such celebrations which we think will interest the largest proportion of the people of the province.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the League at communications@monarchistnb.ca or 454-9589.

Happy Birthday, Ma’am!

Today, Canada’s first holiday of the “summer” season, marks the official Canadian birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. It is a commemorative national day, one of our oldest secular holidays in fact, which is often lost in the excitement of the first long weekend during which most places enjoy good weather (though as I look outside at skies threatening rain I half smile at myself). It has become known as “May-Long,” May 2-4,” or simply the “May long weekend.”

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I suppose it can be said that most Canadians do at least know that the official name for the holiday is Victoria Day, and associate it, at least vaguely, with the long dead Queen who sat upon the throne when Canada was united under the BNA Act. Indeed, the old Queen’s birthday was celebrated on May 24 or 25 from 1868 until 1900 – she did not reach her 1901 birthday. 

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After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, an Act was passed by Parliament establishing a legal holiday on May 24 in each year (or May 25 if May 24 fell on a Sunday) under the name Victoria Day. As is the custom today, King Edward’s birthday was feted on that day as well. Born in November, the King’s birthday was celebrated in May likely for two reasons – because his mother’s birthday was a familiar holiday and because the weather in May was finer than the weather in November.

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For Edward’s successor, George V, it was possible to celebrate his birthday on the actual date, June 3rd. The one birthday celebrated by Edward VIII was also celebrated on the actual day, June 23rd,  but George VI (who was born in December) was feted in early June by annual proclamation. The exception was during the 1939 Royal Tour of Canada, when the King celebrated his birthday on May 20th with a Trooping of the Colour on Parliament Hill.

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However, Victoria Day continued to be observed all the while. For a time, it was known as Empire Day and was celebrated far beyond our borders – it eventually became Commonwealth Day and was moved to the second Monday in March. After the present Queen’s accession in 1952 (she was born in April), her birthday was officially celebrated by annual proclamation on Victoria Day until 1957, when this age old holiday was permanently fixed as her Canadian birthday.

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In many Canadian capitals, including Fredericton, little official fuss is made, although the Artillery regiment from CFB Gagetown stages a wonderful 21 Gun Salute from the ground overlooking the Saint John River, next to Government House and behind the Victoria Health Centre. Most other celebrations are personal and more muted, like the one my family and I had in our back yard in 2011.

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It would take a miracle to convince Canadians that they should spend Victoria Day sipping tea and attending official functions – and who would want that anyway? Well, maybe I would – but like The Queen’s official birthday in the UK and elsewhere, the focus is on family and friends and a general mood of celebration. What the goal of monarchists must be is to educate Canadians about Victoria Day and what it means.

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Meanwhile, here’s one monarchist who, among other activities today, will be lifting a glass to our Sovereign. Happy Birthday, Ma’am – God Bless You!

Cost of Crown Survey Released!

Every three years, the Monarchist League of Canada commissions a survey on the cost of Canada’s Constitutional Monarchy. The survey provides a wealth of information about exactly where the money goes, and how much bang taxpayers are getting for their buck.

The most recent issue of this triennial survey came out last week, and the results are encouraging. The overall cost, per Canadian, of Canada’s monarchy in 2011-2012 was $1.63! That figure does not include the special one-time expenses incurred for the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which, if factored in, bring the per capita total to $1.85.

ImageThese figures include everything from Royal Tours and security costs to salaries and vice-regal household expenses. Naturally, this includes no amount of money to cover the Queen’s expenses in the UK. It’s simply an old myth that Canadians cover part of the Queen’s bill anywhere outside of Canada.

Our hardworking Lieutenant Governor, Graydon Nicholas, shines in the section of Lieutenant Governors. He attends and hosts more events that most other provincial vice-regals, and does so for less than any of his colleagues (even his PEI counterpart!). His total all-inclusive expenses for 2011-2012 were $507,687.80  This includes a Provincial contribution of $318,500. The rest of the costs (including His Honour’s salary) were covered by the Federal Treasury.

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New Brunswickers reading this know that His Honour seems to turn up at everything, and his house is often a flurry of activity. His total engagements for 2011-2012 numbered 550. That’s more than twice the number accounted for by his colleague’s in Quebec, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan!

In 2012, monarchists received a fair amount of flack about the costs associated with the Royal Tour by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The overall costs for that Tour came out to $649,538, or just 2 cents per Canadian! The 2011 Tour by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge cost Canadians just 4 cents each, and the 2010 Tour by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, 6 cents each.

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Overall, the cost of Canada’s constitutional monarchy compares favourably with expenses incurred by the House of Commons ($12.25 per Cdn), the Senate ($2.57), and the CBC ($32.52). It costs just a few cents more per Canadian than the Library of Parliament and the National Gallery. Our neighbours to the south paid an estimated $5.24 each for the running of the White House and the Office of the President in 2008! And they have 10 times our population.

All members will be receiving a copy of this survey in the mail very soon. Others are welcome to check out a digital copy at http://www.monarchist.ca/sites/default/files/documents/2013/2/232.pdf

 

Prince Arthur in Saint John, 1906

In the course of my PhD research, I occasionally get to see some pretty cool artifacts and bits of royal ephemera. On a recent research trip to Saint John, I discovered a splendid little programme from a dinner held in that city in honour of a Royal Visit by HRH The Prince Arthur of Connaught, grandson of Queen Victoria and nephew of King Edward VII. This brief 1906 visit by the King’s nephew (whose father toured Canada in 1869) has largely been forgotten, and it does not appear on most lists of Royal Tours of the province which I have seen. His father’s 1912 Tour as Governor General of Canada seems to have made more of an impression.

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An article from the Saint John Globe, published on 18 April 1906, reveals that the Prince was initially expected to spent two days in the port city, but that an itinerary change shortened that stay to just nine hours. I suspect that the change in the schedule may have had something to do with the fact that by the 18 April the Prince had already been on tour in Canada for over three weeks.

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Following his arrival in Saint John by train at 2:30 pm (one half hour behind schedule) on 2 May, Prince Arthur was met by Hon. J.B. Snowball, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, whereupon he inspected a Guard of Honour composed of the soldiers and band of the 62nd Fusiliers. A civic address was read by the Mayor of Saint John, Edward Sears, followed by the Prince’s reply and the presentation of the city aldermen. After a driving tour of the city, Prince Arthur attended adinner, for which this programme was produced, hosted by the LG at The Royal Hotel. The menu had a little something for everyone:

ImageIn a move which was undoubtedly a relief to the Prince, there was no speech-making during the dinner, and only a Toast to the King (“The King – God Bless Him”) was proposed. After a short time socializing with the guest after dinner, HRH was conveyed to the railway station, from whence he departed Saint John at 11 pm (right on schedule). Initially, there was to have been a public reception at the York Theatre before the dinner, but this was cancelled because of the Prince’s dislike for such things (or so the columnist from the Globe suggested). There had, the week previous, also been talk of a torchlight parade from The Royal Hotel to the train station prior to the Prince’s departure, but no further action seems to have been taken (as least not as far as the newspaper account goes).

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The Moncton Times reported that a large crowd was gathered at the train station to bid the prince adieu, their cries of “Good-bye, Artie!” being acknowledged with a wave from the young Prince. 

 

 

The Queen’s Recent Illness Fuels Questions

Though perhaps less dramatic that the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospitalization in December 2012, the Queen’s recent stay in King Edward VII Hospital in London sparked a media frenzy. In the end, Her Majesty spent just one night in the hospital as she recovered from nasty bout of gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and small intestine. 

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But the Queen’s seemingly minor illness sparked some serious questions. One in particular was put forward by the British media: do we expect too much from our octogenarian Sovereign and her even-more-elderly husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh? It’s a fair question, given that we know that the Queen went ahead with several engagements even after she first felt the signs of her illness, and also that she was scheduled to undertake an official visit to Italy before being forced to cancel.

My own feeling is that Her Majesty does, and will continue to do, whatever she feels able so to do. The same goes for Philip. At the time of his ninetieth birthday, the Duke indicated that he had a desire to scale back his commitments. Indeed, the Earl of Wessex has long held the reigns of his father’s namesake award’s programme. However, recent news revealed that Philip will be in Canada on a short working trip in April to present new Colours to the Royal Canadian Regiment, of which he has been Colonel-in-Chief for decades. The Queen undertook over 425 engagements in 2012, up 100 from 2011 (presumably due to the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee).

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Despite the fact that neither of these senior Royals have shown much evidence of slowing down, I doubt very much that they would push themselves beyond their own capabilities. Both have taken care throughout their lives to maintain robust health (before this weekend the Queen hadn’t spent a night in hospital since she underwent scheduled minor knee surgery 10 years ago!), and I am quite certain that they would never jeopardize that. 

As they continue to age and if, God forbid, their health declines, I expect that their children and grandchildren will pick up more of the slack to take the pressure of The Queen and her Consort. The A-word need not be mentioned. The Queen won’t give up the throne, come what may. She’s in this job for life and it will be up to the Prince of Wales and his supportive family to exercise the Queen’s responsibilities when she is no longer able to do so as she may wish.

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Nevertheless, while this recent bout of illness has not led me to jump to conclusions as others have done, it has given me pause to reflect on the fact that our Sovereign will soon be 87 years old, and her Consort, 92. At their ages, minor set-backs for the rest of us such as gastroenteritis and bladder infections can have much more serious consequences. We continue to hope, therefore, that both our Sovereign and her Consort, to whom Canada and the Commonwealth owe so very much, will continue to enjoy good health for many years to come. God Save the Queen – Long May She Reign!

Historic Print Presented

More than 60 members and friends of the NB Branch of the Monarchist League of Canada were on hand on February 2nd at Government House in Fredericton for a special presentation to Hon. Graydon Nicholas. The Lieutenant Governor, who is Honourary Patron of the Branch, was the host of the Accession Day Tea, which honoured the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and he reflected on the success of Jubilee celebrations held across the province.

The League itself was involved in numerous Diamond Jubilee commemorations, including flag raisings, a tree planting, a formal dinner, a childrens’ activity day, and a heritage fair award program. The Tea was the last event on the group’s calendar celebrating the Queen’s 60 years on the Throne. Plans are advancing, however, for events to mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation in June.

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As a final gesture to mark the Diamond Jubilee, the Branch presented an historic print to Government House during the February 2nd celebrations. Called “The Heart of Empire,” the original painting was commissioned in 1935 to capture on canvas the Service of Thanksgiving held in honour of another Royal milestone – the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. The many people pictured in the foreground include members of the Royal Family as well as representatives from across the Commonwealth who were present for the occasion.

The print was gifted to the Branch in 2012 by the family of the Late Donald Whitcomb of Missouri, USA, and plans were immediately made to have it re-framed and for a suitable home to be found so that it could be enjoyed by a great number of people.

Barry MacKenzie, Chairman of the NB Branch of the League, was on hand for the presentation: “We could not be more pleased to know that this historic print will become a permanent part of the Government House collection and that it will be showcased in New Brunswick’s vice-regal residence for all to enjoy.”

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A second special presentation to Government House was made during the February 2nd event by Christian Cardell Corbet of Riverview, who presented to the Lieutenant Governor a handsome bust of Her Majesty The Queen commissioned by the Canadian Portrait Academy in honour of the Diamond Jubilee.

A Royal Restigouche Fishing Excursion – 1945

I had read some time ago about a private holiday undertaken in New Brunswick in 1945 by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but never thought much more about it. I knew that I would eventually have the excuse to look into it as my PhD research progressed, but because it wasn’t an official Royal “Tour”, it was a little off my radar for the time being. That is, until recently, when the League received an email enquiry for someone in the Saint John area whose friend had some recollection of the Duke’s visit and who thought that the trip had taken place in that part of NB.

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Since I couldn’t give this curious chap the answer he needed, off I went to peruse microfilmed copies of the Saint John Telegraph Journal from the summer of 1945. Since I didn’t know exactly when in the season the trip was undertaken, I began slowly reeling through issues from the first of May onward finding much interesting, though off topic, reading regarding the ceasing of hostilities in Europe. As my eyes began to get blurry, it struck me that there could be some off chance that this fishing holiday would be referenced in a biography of the Duke from this period. Luckily for me, Michael Bloch made mention off the trip in his book “The Duke of Windsor’s War,” although the fact that he stated that it took place in the second half of July almost led me astray.

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As it turns out, the Windsor started their New Brunswick holiday on July 6th, arriving from Boston, MA. The Duke had spent the Second World War as Governor of The Bahamas. The British government had been rather keen to keep him far from Europe during the War and the plan seemed to work. Having resigned his post in March of 1945, the Duke and his wife, for whom he had given up the throne in 1936, were preparing for what would become permanent retirement when they arrived in NB for a week’s fishing holiday.

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The wasn’t much to tell NB’s newspaper readers about the fishing holiday, other than that it was spent at the Downs Gulch Lodge where the Windsors were guests of Isaak Walton Killam, the famous financier and philanthropist. What little press coverage the trip did attract referred to the number of silver salmon caught by the party (30) and to the fact that the couple seemed to enjoy the trip.

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The coverage in NB’s newspapers was rather meagre. Granted, this was no official Royal Tour. However, perhaps one can read a little more into the lack of press attention. One must keep in mind that the was the man who abdicated only nine years before. Although many Canadians were thought to be sympathetic to his plight in 1936, his successor, George VI, had proven such an exemplary monarch that perhaps some of the shine had come off of the charming man who had wooed Canadians during several tours of Canada when Prince of Wales (including one in 1919 which included a stop in Saint John). One editorial about the trip which appeared in the Telegraph Journal (see above) suggests that no fanfare didn’t mean we weren’t “glad to have them.”

I’ll leave it for my readers to decide for themselves. 

Queen issues Letters Patent to Ensure Title for Baby Cambridge

It was announced in the media today that Her Majesty The Queen has issued special Letters Patent that will ensure that, regardless of the gender of Baby Cambridge, he/she will carry the title Prince or Princess and be styled a Royal Highness.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Canadian And North American Tour - Quebec

Without this move, a female Baby Cambridge would only have carried the title “Lady,” based on Letters Patent issued in November 1917 by King George V which stated: “the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour.” A female Baby Cambridge would be the eldest daughter of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

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This most recent action by the Queen does not change the fact that the title of Prince/Princess and style of Royal Highness is restricted to the children of the Sovereign’s sons.  It is for this reason that of the Queen’s Kent, Gloucester, and Harewood Royal first cousins, only the Kents and Gloucesters are Princes/Princess and carry the style His/Her Royal Highness (these include the Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Alexandra (all three pictured below), and the Duke of Gloucester).

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The Queen’s Harewood cousins, the late Earl of Harewood and his younger brother, the late Gerald Lascelles, did not enjoy any such styles and titles, as they were the children of Princess Mary, The Princess Royal, the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary (the Harewood wedding photo is below).

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This particular rule also applies to the children of the Princess Royal, Peter and Zara Phillips – had they been children of a son of the Queen, they would have been Prince Peter and Princess Zara and carried the style His and Her Royal Highness. It is believed that, before Peter’s birth, the Queen offered to raise Mark to the Peerage (as she had done for Antony Armstrong-Jones – Princess Margaret’s husband) so that Peter would have be born with the type of courtesy title given to children of Peers of the Realm, but that the couple refused the offers. Thus, Peter and Zara have always been Mr. and Miss/Ms.

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This move, like the legislation being introduced to change the rules of succession, is illustrative of efforts to modernise the Monarchy. There are those who have concerns about such changes being made in haste (including, accordingly to the British press, the Prince of Wales) because there is a concern that there may be consequences of which not everyone has not thought.