Canadian troops have once again been named to perform as the Queen’s Guard in London.
Some 80 members of the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) are heading to the UK along with 35 members of the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) band.
The Canadian soldiers will take up their guard duty positions on October 21 and continue until November 12.
The Queen’s Guard are soldiers charged, in support of the civil authorities, with guarding the Sovereign and the official royal residences in the UK. These include Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London.
This is especially significant as they will be acting as sentries during this 100th anniversary year of the end of the First World War.
The RCA Band and a contingent of the RCR Guard will be participating to the Lord Mayor’s Show on November 10th.
Canadian troops were the first non-British unit to assume duties as the Royal Guard King’s Guard/Queen’s Guard beginning in September 1916 when Canada provided soldiers from the 117th (Eastern Townships) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, to undertake public duties.
Canadians again took part with a contingent in 1937, along with Australia.
The in 1940 when members of the Royal 22nd Regiment were requested by His Majesty King George VI, Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment. It was also a first as the R22R is a French Canadian regiment and it was the first time commands to the sentries to be given not in English, but in French. The Toronto Scottish and RCR’s also assumed guard duties as well
The R22R repeated this honourary duty in 2014, the centennial of the regiment’s formation.
A Canadian contigent was again requested, along with Australians for the 1953 Coronation.
The 3rd Bn Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) took up duties in 1998. With the 2nd Bn RCR performing guard duty in 2000 and 2-PPCLI acting as guard in 2017.
Canada was also involved in another ceremonial first when members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) took up guard duties for the Queen this summer. It was the first time a non-infantry contingent formed the guard, and again on the auspicious anniversary year of the official creation of the Royal Air Force in 1918.