Canada mourns Prince Philip

Article / April 9, 2021 / Project number: 17-0287

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By Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs

London, U.K. — Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Royal Consort to Queen Elizabeth, and a patron of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), has died, age 99.

His affection for Canada was perhaps most strongly expressed during a 2013 visit to Toronto. The Prince, then 91, presented members of the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR)’s 3rd Battalion with Regimental Colours and was himself presented with a Commander of the Order of Military Merit by then-Governor General David Johnston.

“Your record is impeccable, whether at home or in deployment abroad,” said the Duke in his address to the regiment. “In a world where there’s so much senseless violence, the regiment has an enviable reputation for peacekeeping. I’m satisfied you will cherish these colours as a testimony of past achievement, a memorial of fallen comrades, and as a reminder of your duties in the years ahead.”

The trip came as a surprise to Royal watchers given that the Prince had experienced a number of health issues over the previous year that kept him home during Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

Before becoming Royal Consort, the Prince served with the Royal Navy and earned the Greek War Cross of Valour during the Second World War. He was given the title of Colonel-in-Chief of RCR in 1953 and served in the same role with The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, which was given the secondary title “Duke of Edinburgh’s Own” with his approval in 2013.

Prince Philip was also Colonel-in-Chief of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.

His other connections include being named an honorary CAF General and Admiral in 2011, and Colonel-in-Chief of Canada’s Army, Air, and Naval cadet corps.

The Prince was born June 10, 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. He married then-Princess Elizabeth in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. The couple had four children: Charles, The Prince of Wales and Heir to the Throne, Anne, The Princess Royal, Andrew, The Duke of York, and Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.

During the couple’s first visit to Canada in 1951, the Prince addressed the Toronto Board of Trade, saying, “In the British Isles, the Canadian Army will always be remembered for the security they gave when invasion threatened and the gallantry displayed in the fighting in Italy and North Europe. I can speak from personal experience as I was serving in a destroyer off the beaches at Sicily when the Canadian division landed there in 1943.”

 
##MCECOPY##Canadian Armed Forces
##MCECOPY##Royal Canadian Regiment
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