Prince Philip honours Canadian military battalion with regimental colour
Published Saturday, April 27, 2013 8:13AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, April 27, 2013 10:54PM EDT
Prince Philip presented a new regimental flag to a Canadian military battalion in Toronto Saturday morning, in a ceremony marking the 200th anniversary of a key battle of the War of 1812.
In his remarks Philip said he was “delighted” to be presenting the flag -- known as a regimental colour – to the Petawawa-based Third Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.
He said that though he “regretted” the circumstances that prevented him from seeing more of the battalion in past years, he “followed closely” the fortunes of all three battalions with “great interest and admiration.”
“As I’ve come to expect after many years as colonel-in-chief, your record is impeccable, whether at home or in deployment abroad,” he said noting the battalion’s distinguished record for peacekeeping.
Philip noted that the ceremony was taking place on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of York.
“I am satisfied that you will cherish these colours as a testimony of past achievements, a memorial to fallen comrades and as a reminder of your duties in the years ahead,” he said.
Regimental colours are considered one of the most prized possessions of every regiment. And while the presentation is largely considered a symbolic event, it holds deep importance to members of the military.
"It’s a flag but, for us, it really symbolizes what we as a regimental family believe in and the core of the infantry," Lt-Col. David Quick told CTV’s News Channel on Friday. "We’re deeply honoured to have him."
Before the presentation, Philip looked on while members of the Canadian military participated in a number of demonstrations, including precision military parachuting, sniper demonstrations, and rapelling. He also took time to meet and chat with soldiers.
April 27 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of York, when Toronto was occupied by the U.S. The battle is one of the final events being honoured in a series to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
After the presentation, more than 1,500 sailors and soldiers will march from Queen’s Park to the Fort York National Historic Site.
On Friday, Philip received two honours from Governor General David Johnston: the Order of Canada and the Commander of the Order of Military Merit.
Philip has held the honorary title of colonel-in-chief for the Royal Canadian Regiment since 1953.