The Queen was in London on Sunday to honour the bravery of Canadian servicemen and women who fought during the First World War. Her Majesty was accompanied at Canada House in Trafalgar Square by The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Alexandra.
The royal trio were at Canada House to honour three Canadian Regiments, of which they individually lead as Colonel-in-Chief. Her Majesty The Queen is Colonel-in-Chief of The Calgary Highlanders, Prince Philip is Colonel-in-Chief of
The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry whilst Princess Alexandra is Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s).These three Canadian units are on a European pilgrimage to mark the centenary of the 2nd Battle of Ypres, specifically the Battle of Saint Julien and Kitcheners Wood.
Following the Battle of Kitcheners Wood on April 22nd 1915, where Canadian Forces mounted a counter-attack to drive the enemy out of Kitcheners Wood- an oak plantation near St Julien, the Battle of Saint Julien began. The Germans began an attack in an attempt to obliterate the Salient once and for all and with the Canadian Forces as their target, a violent bombardment was followed by a gas attack. The Canadians, through intense fighting, jammed rifles and withered by shrapnel, held on until reinforcements arrived and because of this resilience they established themselves a reputation as a formidable fighting force. The Battle of Kitcheners Wood and Saint Julien was the Canadians first major appearance on a European battlefield.
The reception at Canada House on Sunday not only saw The Queen, Prince Philip and Princess Alexandra attend, also present were descendants of those who fought in those horrific battles as well as current service personnel. All three members of the royal party sat for a photograph with their respective regiments.
Canada’s High Commissioner, Gordon Campbell, spoke of Her Majesty’s visit, “It is always exceptional when Her Majesty comes and joins us at Canada House, particularly now as this is the 100 year anniversary of the bestowing of the first military honours to Canadians. You can just feel, in the room, how important it is to everyone that she is here. It really is an honour and it is the sort of commemorative activity that is important to the soldiers and the service people who are involved.”
Canada House is situated in Trafalgar Square and is a part of the High Commission of Canada in London.
Also full of praise for the royal visit to Canada House on Sunday was Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, Richard Talbot, “To have the three royal Colonels-in-Chief here in one room is unique. I do not think it has happened before. We are proud to be a part of this day.
The Queen’s trip to Trafalgar Square comes just a few days before she and Prince Philip, as well as other members of The Royal Family, commemorate Anzac Day and the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign.
Photo Credit: Ian Alexander Martin
Featured Photo Credit: Michael Garnett