It was back to work for Her Majesty when she kicked off her first engagement of the season at Windsor Castle, honouring the UK’s connection to Canada.
Wearing her diamond maple leaf brooch to mark the occasion, The Queen looked in high spirits after her summer break at Balmoral when she greeted the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (RCA). Her Majesty has had a long association with the RCA, serving as Captain General since her coronation in 1953.
She met with troops from the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, who are currently undertaking guard duties at Windsor Castle, marking the first time ever the Regiment has had this honour.
A contingent of soldiers, supported by the RCA Band, has also been serving at Buckingham Palace, taking part in Changing the Guard, and other troops will guard St James’s Palace and the Tower of London. Their presence in London from 4 October to 22 October signifies the first overseas Guard Mount that has happened since the global health crisis started in 2020.
The Queen spoke with the troops about their lives and experiences in London and also received a tour of their accommodation before presenting the Captain General’s sword, which is “awarded annually to an officer who has demonstrated exemplary leadership.”
The special sword was presented to mark the 150th anniversary of the formation of A and B Batteries, which were the first permanent forces of what is now the Canadian Army.
Canada is Her Majesty’s most-visited country, with the monarch racking up 22 visits between 1951 and 2010. She acts as Colonel-in-Chief for a number of regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces and, in June 2021, presented a Royal Banner to their Legal Branch to mark its 100th anniversary during a video call.
Marking a busy day, The Queen also conducted virtual audiences with incoming ambassadors visiting Buckingham Palace. She spoke with His Excellency Mr Ioannis Raptakis, Ambassador from Greece, and Her Excellency Mrs Therese Rath, High Commissioner for Belize, via video link from Windsor Castle.