The Duke of Edinburgh, sporting a black eye today, presented the new colours to the 3rd Battalion during a day of celebration in Toronto. This being the newest set of colours the battalion have been presented since the former colours were presented 1973, 40 years ago.
The Duke looked in good general health today, firstly coming onto the Square to inspect a short show of troops from the Canadian Army which involved parachutists, specialist fire teams and abseiling soldiers, all demonstrating the very best of the Canadian Army.
Prince Philip made a point of chatting to the various servicemen on parade today, being guided around by an NCO from the 3rd battalion.
The Duke also met the snipers who were clad in full camouflage uniform on the parade square today.
His Royal Highness then retired inside for a short while before returning around 30 minutes later for the actual presentation. The Duke came out as one of the three guests of honour. He watched the trooping of the old colours and then the old colours retiring after long use.
A drum altar was then constructed on the parade ground for the religious consecration of the colours. Drum altars are used in both British and Canadian consecration of colours and act as an altar in the field of battle, traditionally when no church was nearby or it was impractical to go to one.
The colours were then consecrated in front of the Duke and the 3rd battalion whilst all removed headdress as a sign of respect. “These colours remind us of our duty towards our Queen and country”, said the consecrator.
Shortly after, the colours were given to the 3rd battalion and the Duke gave a short speech in which he expressed his delight to be there, saying “I’m delighted to have had this opportunity to present a new colour to the 3rd battalion”.
The Duke said, “I’m satisfied that you will cherish these colours as a testimony to your past achievements.”
The Duke was yesterday awarded membership to two of Canada’s orders including being made Companion of the Order of Canada and a Commander of the Order of Military Merit, both were surprise honours for the Duke.
He will now leave Canada soon to return to the UK. This is one of the only engagements done by the Duke overseas on his own in recent years due to his advancing age. He’ll be returning to Windsor Castle where Her Majesty is staying and preparing for Tuesday’s state visit from the President of the United Arab Emirates.
Photo Credits from CTV News, Canada