Princess Anne helps mark regimental centennial
Published Saturday, June 2, 2007 11:45PM EDT
REGINA - Members of the Royal Regina Rifles, young and old, stood shoulder to shoulder under a bright Prairie sky on Saturday to mark the regiment's centennial with some royal pagentry.
Princess Anne, the colonel-in-chief of the regiment, was in Saskatchewan to meet with and inspect the troops for the unit's 100th anniversary.
"Ever since my first visit in 1982, when I was privileged to become colonel-in-chief, it has been always a key part of the visits to be able to catch up with the activities of the regiment,'' said the Princess.
"The regiment has always reflected the province and the people of Saskatchewan and particularly those in Regina,'' she said in a speech in front of the regiment.
"Their history is full of a considerable amount of endeavours in many different countries, successful and achieved wherever they've been and setting standards for the future.''
Current members of the regiment marched to Regina City Hall to be granted "Freedom of the City'' as the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Band played in the background.
Veterans of the Royal Regina Rifles, many with medals proudly pinned to their chests, also joined for the inspection.
The Princess Royal, wearing a spring-like orange suit and hat, chatted briefly with several of the troops as she walked through for the inspection.
A crowd of about 450 people gathered for the ceremony and the chance to glimpse royalty.
Among was them was 85-year-old Jack England, a Navy veteran, who said it's the third time he has been able to enjoy a "Freedom of the City'' ceremony.
England proclaimed Princess Anne "very charming, very lovely.''
"It's very wonderful to have her as a commander-in-chief of the Regina Rifles,'' said England as a small Canadian flag tucked into his breast pocket flapped gently in the breeze.
"They have a proud history and while I was in the Navy, I know very much of the Rifles cause I had a number of friends who were in the Rifles.''
Earlier on Saturday, Princess Anne travelled to Yorkton and Saltcoats. On Sunday, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh will get a tour of the new RCMP Heritage Centre.